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Wednesday, April 18, 2012


posted by John at 14:21 || under General

Buying and selling real estate is a significant event. It requires the services of a number of professionals, including a Title Company. To assure that the transaction is handled efficiently and accurately, the title company used is very important. At the time the contract is signed, the buyer/borrower has the right to request the Title Company of their choice, and it is important that you understand the services they provide and their charges. Your Loan Officer and/or Realtor will often send the title request to a company they are familiar with and frequently use. It is your right to shop around for the best prices for settlement services and voice your opinion early in the process.

First, let's focus on what services a Title Company performs.In the time between the receipt of the contract and the final settlement, the Title Company should maintain close contact with the Mortgage Company and Realtor(s), to obtain the documentation necessary for closing the transaction. When the closing date and time have been set, the lender will send the closing instructions and some of the legal documents (Note, Deed of Trust, Affidavits, etc.) to the Title Company. The Title Company will then compile all the mortgage lender's charges, miscellaneous fees, title company fees, and other closing costs into a final Settlement Statement. The buyer/borrower should be informed no later than 24 hours prior to settlement of final figures associated with the transaction and the amount of money needed to bring for the closing (in certified funds). When all of the parties have been assembled at a time they have prearranged, the Closing Agent will explain the documents and witness their execution. The Title Company assumes the responsibility of collecting all funds necessary for the transfer and the prompt and accurate disbursement of such monies. After the closing has taken place, the Title Company will make sure that the legal documents have been filed for record and all of the necessary paperwork returned to the appropriate parties, all outstanding liens have been fully paid, and the title policies prepared and sent out.

Second, take the time to educate yourself. Most people comparison shop for cars, jewelry, boats, etc. The same should apply to their choice of a Title Company. Don't be afraid to ask questions when contacting Title Companies. To determine what is most important to you, the following are some factors to consider:

*Price – Ask about closing fees, document preparation fees, courier fees, title insurance premiums, title examination fees and any other fees.

*Convenience – Will they close the transaction at a time and place convenient for you?

*Experience – How long has the company been in business? Have they had any claims placed on their Errors and Omissions Insurance or Title Insurance policies?
*Customer Service – Get a feel for how you will be treated. Ask to speak to the Office Manager, Closing Coordinator, Attorney or someone in charge. If they are too busy to talk to you, chances are they will be too busy to provide you with the individual care you should expect and deserve.
The Title Company plays an important role in the purchase and sale of real estate and should have constant involvement from the time the contract is signed until the completion of the transfer of title. They should strive to assure that this complex procedure is carried out in compliance with the instructions of all the parties involved and in the most pleasing and efficient manner possible. Service is of utmost importance.
Buying and selling real estate is not rocket science. If you take the time to educate yourself, you will increase your chances of saving time and money and having a pleasurable experience.

The preceding is a brief overview of the title process and the role of a Title Company in the real estate transaction. For more information, feel free to contact the author, John N. Kidd, Owner/Chief Manager, Prestige Title Agency, LLC, 212 West Harper Avenue, Maryville, TN 37801, 865-273-1010 or online at

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John Kidd is the Owner/Chief Manager of Prestige Title Agency and the General Partner of its parent company

ARK Property Management Services






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