What Is A Title?

Title is the right to, or ownership of, a specific real estate property. The main rights conferred by a real estate title are: right of possession, right of control, right of exclusion, right of enjoyment, and right of disposition. Change in ownership can be initiated by a will, court decree, law, or sale of a property. The transfer in ownership is recorded in a deed and filed with county records.

What Is Title Insurance And Why Do I Need It?

Title insurance protects a homeowner or lender against financial loss from real estate title defects or liens against a property. Any property that has undergone several transfers of ownership — including when it was undeveloped land — could have a hidden title issue that can affect the current homeowner or lender.

How Does Title Insurance Provide Protection?

  • Improper execution of documents
  • Mistakes in recording or indexing of legal documents
  • Forgeries and fraud
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs
  • Unpaid taxes and assessments
  • Unpaid Judgments and liens
  • Unreleased mortgages
  • Mental Incompetence of grantors

How Much Should My Real Estate Agent Know About Title?

As part of a real estate transaction, your real estate agent should know what title insurance is and at which point in the purchase process a title and settlement company should be brought into the transaction. However, title is complex and requires in-depth understanding of state laws and local practices. If you have more detailed questions about title and title insurance, your best bet is to consult with a title company.

What Do I Need To Bring To Settlement?

The Patriot Act requires that we collect a photocopy of your valid government issued picture I.D. such as a Driver’s License, Passport, or Military I.D. Additionally, if you are bringing money to the settlement these funds will need to be “certified funds.” Certified funds can come in the form of a cashier’s check, teller’s check, money order, or certified personal check. Cash is only acceptable in small amounts. Please call our office in advance if you intend to bring cash to the settlement. Your lender will require that the purchaser bring proof of homeowner’s insurance. Your lender may also require a current Wood Destroying Insect or Termite Report. You may also be required to bring additional documents which our office will inform you of in advance.

How Long Can I Expect My Closing To Take?

While the time of a settlement can vary greatly, typically a refinance will take about 30 minutes and a purchase will take about 45 minutes.

Who Attends A Closing?

At a “purchase settlement,” typically the sellers, purchasers, and their real estate professionals will attend the closing, which will be conducted by an experienced attorney or settlement officer.
At a refinance settlement usually only the borrowers and our attorney or settlement officer are present.

What If I Cannot Attend The Closing?

In certain circumstances, a “power-of-attorney” can be prepared for you. A “power-of-attorney” is a legal instrument which allows another to sign legal documents on your behalf. Please give us a call to discuss this if you will not be able to attend.