Why Do I Need Title Insurance?
Like many industries, title insurance was born of necessity — in this case, the need to protect owners of real estate from challenges to their property titles. During the first century of our nation’s history, Americans became all too familiar with land title troubles. In real estate transactions, the name of the game was caveat emptor — in other words, “let the buyer beware.” The ultimate responsibility for verifying the validity of a land title was the burden of the buyer. As a result, many lost their investments, their land, and their homes.
Could you imagine such a stress today? In addition to the anxiety involved in buying your dream home, the idea of searching through public records for liens and abstracts of judgment, reviewing the survey and updating any changes, ensuring the mortgage is properly paid off by the Seller, transferring ownership and filing the appropriate legal paperwork with the county, there are innumerable other daunting tasks that can seem nearly impossible to undertake. That’s where we come in!
What Can I Expect Before/During Closing?
Once our office has received a contract and earnest money (please make your checks out to Independence Title, our parent company). We will receipt Page 9 of the contract and send a receipted copy of the contract to all parties listed by the end of the work day. Within a few days of requesting title on your property, we will send out a title commitment, along with a questionnaire which will help us get started on researching your property and who will need to join you at the closing table to sign documents. We will ask for important details such as your social security number, full legal name, and marital status, in addition to other specifics such as your mortgage and insurance company information. This will allow us to begin reaching out to all parties involved in the transaction in order to move your closing forward.
What Happens at Closing?
Hurray! The big day has arrived and you are ready to close. Your Escrow Officer will have called you or your agent prior to closing to set the time. Be prepared to offer a valid unexpired ID (note many mortgage companies now require two, but don’t worry, we’ll let you know if this is necessary) and have your funds wired to Midtown’s escrow account 24 hours prior to the scheduled closing time. Generally, Buyers have many more documents to sign than Sellers. Buyers can anticipate approximately 1 to 2 hours at the closing table, and approximately 30-45 minutes for Sellers. At the closing table, your Escrow Officer will verbally go over every document you are required to sign, to ensure they are fully explained. Once the paperwork is executed, our Escrow Team immediately sends all of the documents electronically to the appropriate parties to begin the funding process. Once funding is complete, we will call all parties and let them know we are able to release keys and funds. We will then send you all of your executed documents, either electronically or through the mail. The Buyer will receive their final title insurance policy within 90 days of closing, as required by law.