The process of searching for a title company after buying a new home can sometimes be arduous. It may seem especially difficult to find such a business if there are several options for title companies in your area. Fortunately, you can make this process simpler by carefully choosing the questions you ask.
What Does A Title Company Do?
A title company’s primary purpose is to ensure that the title to a property is legitimately transferred to a new buyer. A home title is a document that serves as proof of legal ownership of said property. If a title has any issues (or defects), this will typically create uncertainty in the transfer-of-ownership process. Common examples of title defects include unpaid taxes, liens, encumbrances, and undisclosed heirs. You should also know that according to a federal law called the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974, homebuyers are allowed to choose their own title company.
Questions To Ask During A Title Company Search
Although there are dozens of questions you can ask a title company, here are six in particular that can help you decide your best option:
How Much Experience Does Your Attorney Have?
It is ultimately a title company’s attorney who is responsible for determining whether you may legally purchase a home and purchase title insurance. Therefore, it is best to choose a title company whose lawyer has extensive experience in real estate settlement services. For each company that you consider, ask how many years of experience their attorney has and what types of closings they have performed.
How Do You Handle Your Title Searches?
This is one of the most important questions you should ask a title company. As a matter of fact, you can even take it a step further and ask, “How do you handle your most difficult title searches?” as some searches are easier than others. The answer you receive can give you a clear idea of how the company addresses issues.
What Are Your Title Insurance Rates?
As with any other home-related product or service, it’s important to compare title insurance rates to determine which title company’s policies are most affordable for you. The cost of title insurance typically varies depending on the state you live in and your home’s price, among other factors. Your premiums may also vary depending on the type of coverage you are seeking (i.e. standard vs. extended owner’s policy).
What Is Your Company’s Ratio Of Title Claims to Customers?
Claims represent a key aspect of a title company. Nevertheless, certain title companies are more strict than others about what types of homebuyers they are willing to issue title insurance policies for. According to industry estimates, average title insurance claim rates are approximately 5% per company. If a company’s claim rate is above this, it’s best for you to keep looking.
How Long Do Your Title Searches Take? (On Average)
Another notable quality of any title company is efficiency. Therefore, be sure to ask each title company how long their title searches take, on average. It’s especially important to know this if you have a strict deadline to reach a settlement (per your home purchase contract). A title search should never take more than two weeks.
Do You Belong To Any Professional Associations?
Generally speaking, title companies that belong to professional associations are held to high standards. One of the most renowned such groups is the American Land Title Association (ALTA), which provides members with business resources, educational programs, and certification opportunities. Alternatively, you can also ask for recommendations for title companies from your friends and family.
Get Title Insurance From Mathis Title Company
Reach out to the experts at Mathis Title Company to get title insurance. We provide real estate settlement services and legal advice to buyers, sellers, and lenders. Robin Mathis is an attorney who has more than 30 years of experience in real estate settlement services and who has performed thousands of closings. Ann Andreatos is a title agent with over 14 years of experience.
During the sale and purchase of a home, Mathis will hold the funds being transferred in an escrow account prior to title transfer and closing. Once the title order has been approved, a title search can begin and the homebuyer will be given a preliminary report to review. Funds are then disbursed and a title insurance policy can be created and issued with the help of one of our trusted underwriting companies. We offer both standard and extended owner’s title insurance policies. We also provide assistance with refinancing, contract preparation and review, and mechanics liens.