When it comes to buying a property, it is highly recommended to get title insurance. It provides peace of mind by protecting you against a wide range of interests and claims that can potentially cause financial loss or even loss of ownership. It is crucial that you chose the right title insurance company, as you have the right to select a company of your choice. When looking for an agency, check them for experience, reputation, financial stability, and responsiveness.
There are many more factors to consider when choosing the right SunnySide title company. The following guide provides you helpful tips to make the right decision.
What Do Title Insurance Agencies Do?
The job of a title insurance agency is to ensure that the title to a piece of property is legitimate before issuing title insurance against it. The insurance policy protects the lender or the owner against claims or lawsuits that can result out of potential disputes over the title.
A title insurance agency can also maintain escrow accounts. The accounts hold the funds required for closing on the property’s sale. They can conduct the formal closing and ensure that the funds are used only for the purpose of settlement and closing costs. During the closing, the agency’s settlement agent will carry out the following procedures:
- Presenting all the essential documents
- Explaining documents to the parties
- Collecting closing costs
- Distributing funds
- Ensuring filing of all documents including new titles and deeds
Factors to Consider
There are many title insurance agencies and it is important that you choose the right one.
i. Range of Services
Consider the following aspects of the services provided by the company when making the right choice:
- Convenience: Closing the deal at a time that may be convenient to you.
- E-Recording: This ensures that the deed gets recorded immediately. This prevents any potential risks of discrepancies or more importantly any chances of fraud from previous owners.
It is extremely important to choose a title company that has been in the local market for years. Check the following relevant factors:
- How long have their escrow officer worked in the industry?
- Is their title agent an attorney or not?
- Inexperienced and non-attorney-based agencies are not fully knowledgeable of all kinds of real estate transactions
- Consider the type of deal you have – commercial deal, bank owned, short sale, seller financed, refinance, installment sale, or something else to match the agency with the deal
Some agencies may have only a single specialty. Make sure to match their specialty with the type of deal you have.
It is the States Department of Insurance that regulates title insurance charges in most states. But title agencies can have their own ancillary charges that can create some major price variations. Some of the different heads under which you can be charged include the following:
- Title & endorsement
- Electronic document
- Release tracking
- Document prep
- Mobile notary
Some companies can also charge additional work fees. If you shop around, you can save up to a thousand on additional charges.
iv. Financial Stability
The task of a title company is a critical one for your real estate deal. They facilitate and protect the escrow and provide title insurance to cover the concerned asset. It is important to ensure financial stability because you want the title insurer to be around even after years. A claim may arise at anytime in the future and it is important that the insurer is still there to honor the claim.
One way to ensure this is by looking past into the history of the company. A company with decades of standing and reliability in terms of the services they offer can be the right choice. Also check reviews to ensure that their clients are satisfied with their services.
v. Local Company
It is also important to choose a title company that is local. This is important from the perspective of several factors including the following:
- Local expertise
- Market conduct
- Service standards
- Commitment to local community
Clear and open communication is crucial to real estate transactions. It is important to choose a title insurance agency that maintains open lines of communication while maintaining clarity at all stages.
- Check how the title agent or escrow officer communicates
- Are there multiple contact options including email, phone, fax, and face-to-face interaction
Your title agent should be accessible at all times during business hours.
Tips to Save on Title Insurance
While you follow these tips to find the right title company, it is recommended to follow these tips to get the ideal deal:
- Shop Around: Many states allow the insurance provider to set the prices for the policy to protect the deal. Thus, the insurance premiums can vary and you should shop around to find the best rates.
- Add-On Fees: If insurance is not highly regulated in your state, you can find big variations in premiums. There will almost always be additional fees when buying title insurance policy. These fees can include copy fees, mail/courier charges, and administrative fees such as for searches. You can negotiate on these charges and save.
- Buy Both Lenders’ Insurance Simultaneously: The lender may also require a separate policy to protect themselves. In that case, the buyer can buy both the policies together to increase the savings. Both these policies will be independent of each other. In many states the ‘simultaneous issue rate’ can help in getting discounted premiums on the lender’s insurance.
- Asking Other Party to Pay: Depending on which party the market favors, you can ask the other side to pay for the policy. For example, if the market favors the buyer, they can ask the sellers to pay for the title insurance policy. It is a usual request.
So make sure to follow these tips when choosing the right title company and chasing better prices.