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What is Title Insurance

Title insurance is a key component of the vast majority of real estate transactions.  It provides protection from financial loss resulting from defects in title to a property wherever those defects arose.  While there is a general perception that real estate records are reliable, the reality is that errors and omissions in real estate records occur on a regular basis.  Issues that can cloud title can include:

  • Undisclosed Heirs
  • Fraudulent Claims
  • Liens for unpaid taxes (federal, state, or local)
  • Forged Documents
  • Errors or Omissions in records
  • Errors or Omissions in the title search itself

In Georgia, a full title search covers a period of 50 years and that search establishes a clear chain of title to prove not only who the prior owners were, but it also details any claims that have or may have attached to the property.   The goal of providing insurable title is to provide more certainty that the seller has the authority to sell their real estate and that the real estate itself is unencumbered absent anything unknown or approved to.

Title insurance works differently than what one regularly thinks of as insurance, that is, title insurance provides retroactive coverage on a property… it provides assurance that everything that occurred in the past is an accurate reflection of events and that title is truly vested with the purchaser.  It also provides assurance that there are no outstanding claims against the property.

There are two types of title insurance: lender’s title insurance and owner’s title insurance.  Where a loan is obtained on real estate, the lender often requires title insurance in order to protect the lender’s capital.  An owner’s policy protects the owner.  Where both lender and owner policies are issued on a specific transaction, the owner’s policy is often discounted.  The cost of insurance is directly related to the purchase price and loan amount of the transaction.  On many residential transactions, the one-time fee associated with a lender’s or owner’s policy is comparatively a small amount to the value of the loan or sales price that can protect your investment and if a claim is made, the protection likely totals thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How to known as Agent

Buying a home or any real estate property can be difficult to navigate for the average person. This is where your expertise and knowledge can really come in handy.

Be a fountain of knowledge!

Help to walk your clients through the closing process.  They are not as familiar with a closing as you are.  Encourage the delivery of prompt information to the Closing Attorney by your customers.

Ask questions!

Use your Closing Attorney as a resource for Contractual questions and issues that arise during the closing process. The Closing Attorney might provide you as the agent valuable information to move forward.

Be aware of out-of-pocket expenses

Preparing a Closing involves “out-of-pocket” expenses on the part of the Closing Attorney.  Your sensitivity to being aware that a closing might not go through for various reasons and notifying the Closing Attorney of this might allow for postponing a necessary “out-of-pocket” expense until you have confidence that the closing will actually take place thus avoiding unnecessary loss.

Trust your Real Estate Attorney

We love our Real Estate Agents and are always here for you! Give the Closing Attorney the space to do quality work for you and your clients. It will all work out, trust us.

Make the Purchase and Sales Agreement as complete as possible

Send the Purchase and Sale Agreement as complete as possible in one delivery. It is understood that changes take place during the term of the Contract; however, sending the contract piecemeal opens the door for inefficiencies and loss of information. One email is much better than ten emails.

What to Know as a Buyer

Buying a home can be magical, but don’t let that distract you from some important details.

Ask questions!

The earlier you communicate your questions to your closing attorney, the better, This will help guide your decision-making process and make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Voice your concerns!

Don’t be afraid to let your attorney know about any peculiar circumstances about yourself or the property you’re interested in purchasing. As mentioned before, the sooner the better.

Don’t forget the important documents!

Whether you’re buying a house or commercial real estate, you’ll need some kind of insurance proof if a lender is involved. This could mean buying hazard insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or commercial structural insurance for example.

Also, be sure to bring your personal identification when it’s time to close the deal.

Be patient!

Real estate closings are not as simple as you think. It takes time to prepare all of the documents and set up an actual closing date so please be patient. From previous experience, it’s much easier and efficient to attend a closing at the Closing Attorney’s Office.

Finalizing the payment

All funds due at the time of closing should be wired to the closing attorney’s Escrow account.  

 

What to Know as a Seller

Selling a home or any type of property can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing some of the things mentioned below can help.

Ask questions!

The earlier you communicate your questions to your closing attorney, the better, This will help guide your decision-making process and make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Voice your concerns!

Don’t be afraid to let your attorney know about any peculiar circumstances about yourself or the property you’re selling. As mentioned before, the sooner the better.

Don’t forget the important documents!

Be sure to bring your personal identification when it’s time to close the deal.

Be patient!

Real estate closings are not as simple as you think. It takes time to prepare all of the documents and set up an actual closing date so please be patient. From previous experience, it’s much easier and efficient to attend a closing at the Closing Attorney’s Office.

Getting Paid

Our closing office lets you choose a payment option that is most convenient for you. This could mean wiring proceeds from the sale directly to you or providing you with an Attorney’s Escrow Check at closing.

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