When you’re buying or selling a home, you want to choose partners with the resources, experience, and dedication to go the extra mile to ensure your deal has a successful outcome. One of the most critical partners, engaged at every step of the way from offer to close and beyond, is your title company. Learn more about what a title company does, and what title settlement services do to help ensure your home deal is successful.
What Does A Title Company Do?
Most people understand that the title company performs a public records review known as a title search to confirm that the seller is in possession of clear and marketable title to sell the home, while providing buyers with invaluable information about their new investment that could affect the sale, or crop up years down the road.
In addition to researching your home’s title and securing your interest with title insurance, your title company provides a number of other services that ensure a smooth escrow, closing, and post-closing experience for both buyer and seller. The title company also researches the title to the property to ensure there are no problems such as undisclosed liens, boundary disputes or errors in public records that could affect the transaction or the purchaser’s rights in the future.
As part of this process, your title company works with your real estate agents, attorneys, lender, and other real estate professionals to resolve issues with your title report and to provide a physical location for the closing of your transaction. If, for example, the title company finds an issue such as a mechanic’s lien for work performed on the home, they may chat with the seller and contractor to ensure the issue is resolved prior to closing. While this work is critical to the closing of the deal, you may not even know it is happening. Most property buyers close escrow and receive title insurance without ever knowing the full details of the work that was completed behind the scenes to protect their interests.
Once the title search is complete, the title company will issue a title commitment. The title commitment constitutes the title company’s promise to provide title insurance, as well as an explanation of any terms, conditions, exclusions, requirements, and exceptions. The document also identifies any specific requirements that need to be addressed prior to closing so that the title policy can be issued.
The title company then issues policies of title insurance to both the new owner and the new owner’s mortgage lender, protecting the owner and lender against potential future claims of a defect in the title. These policies, which require a one-time payment, protect against claims that the seller could not, in fact, convey title to the property at the time the property was sold.
What Are Settlement Services?
Once the title insurer has completed its title search and commitment to issue title insurance, the title company, in coordination with your real estate agent, attorney, and other representatives, will schedule the closing, or settlement, date.
On settlement or closing day, you will sign all documents required to transfer the ownership of the home from seller to buyer, as well as any applicable mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, and tax documents. Depending on your jurisdiction, there may be transfer stamp payments, property taxes to separate and pay pro rata, or other fees that may be owed by one or both parties to the sale. As part of the settlement process, these payments will be determined and allocated according to the local and state laws governing the transaction. The title company will also ensure that any loan funds are deposited, prior mortgages are paid off, and that any required lender’s settlement statements are appropriately prepared and transmitted.
Even after the documents have been signed and the keys handed from seller to buyer, the settlement process is not complete. Your title company will ensure that the new deed and mortgage information is appropriately filed, or “recorded”, with the appropriate county or local recorder’s office, ensuring that your title to the property is included in the public record for future searches. Your title company will also prepare and distribute a final settlement or closing statement, ensuring that all parties are kept informed as to the disposition of all closing costs and documents.
Landtrust Title: Your Partner for Results
When your real estate agent works with Landtrust Title, you get a partner for results. We do things differently than other title companies — whether it’s personalized support, convenient closing times that meet your schedule, or quick and easy payment methods ensuring everyone gets paid right away, our attention to detail will help ensure a smooth transaction. We’re obsessed with making your experience so seamless, you don’t even have to think about it.