What Does a Title Agency Do?
April 19, 2018Buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions many of us will ever make. Not only is it a huge financial commitment, but the amount of work that goes into the process is extensive. From the beginning stages of looking for the right home and throughout the negotiating and purchasing process, buying a new home can be a challenge. When you are ready to buy a new home, going through a title agency can alleviate all of the stress associated with buying a home.
What Is a Title Agency?
A title agency is a company that helps ensure a property can be legally sold. They do this by performing extensive title searches to locate any issues that might arise to prevent the seller from being able to sell the property. These searches can often turn up information the seller may not have even been aware of. The title agency handles the many facets associated with the sale of a home or any other property. A title agency is the assurance both the buyer and seller need to enter into a real estate agreement with confidence, which immediately helps make the process of buying or selling property that much less stressful. If you've ever asked the question, what does a title agency do, you may find yourself surprised to learn just how much of the essential foundation and leg work a title agency handles in a real estate transaction.
What is Title Insurance?
A title agency provides title insurance. Title insurance is a type of insurance designed to protect the buyer of a property. When you purchase a piece of land or a home, there are several things that you, as a buyer, need to protect yourself from. The added expense of title insurance can be justified by the assurance it can provide to the buyer in a real estate transaction.
When you purchase a home or property, you get a title. If you are buying a home or property, you will make the assumption the seller has complete ownership of the property and the right to make a transaction with you. Unfortunately, there are several factors that can come into play that might prevent that from being the case. Unless you have the time, the knowledge, and the resources to do the leg work it takes to ensure the property you're buying is free and clear to be sold, you run the risk of running into an issue with the title not disclosed by the seller.
How a house or property is titled can affect your purchase. For instance, the property you're going to purchase might be titled as joint tenancy or tenancy in common. Right of survivorship is another title issue that could arise. These are similar in that two or more people have a stake, or ownership, in a home or property. Without the consent of each of the owners, you cannot go ahead with the purchase. What does a title agency do for you in this instance? If you've purchased title insurance, you are protected against this type of situation. A title agency does the research necessary to make sure a home or property is free and clear and that the seller has all legal rights to possess and sell the property.
There are other issues that could arise during the sale of a property. The property could be a life estate. A life estate is ownership of a property that ends upon the death of the current owner and reverts to the original owner, called a life tenant. This could lead to a lot of headaches and legal battles years after you have purchased the property. If you have title insurance, the title agency will protect you against this.
A title company provides insurance that guarantees you, as a buyer, are purchasing property that no one else has a claim to. Part of the advantage of purchasing title insurance is that the company you purchase the insurance from will do a search of the history of a property's title with the goal of finding every possible claim against the title. A lender will require a title search as a condition of the loan. Through title search process, a preliminary title report is generated. The title agency uses the title report to determine if there are claims against the title that would prevent the buyer from getting a clear title. The title insurance is typically purchased by the buyer, however, in some instances the seller may purchase the insurance for the buyer as part of the deal.
Title Agencies and Escrow
Some title agencies also offer escrow services. Not all title agencies handle escrow, so always be sure to ask. An escrow account is an account set up as a central location for all of the money and paperwork associated with a real estate transaction. This ensures that no money or title exchanges hands between the buyer and seller until all financial obligations have been met by both the buyer and seller. An escrow account is beneficial to both parties and helps keep the integrity of the transaction. The escrow account is maintained by a third party (the title agency) and its contents are not released until all obligations for sale of the property have been met.
A title agency will also handle all of the tasks associated with closing a transaction, from facilitating the exchange of money to executing and recording deeds to make the deal legal. In most cases, the buyer and seller will meet at the title agency office, or another agreed upon location, so the buyer and seller can hammer out any details that need to be taken care of before a legal transfer of the property in question can happen. A representative of the title agency will likely be involved in the meeting as an objective third party.
Who Does a Title Agency Represent?
A title agency is a third-party representative that effectively represents the best interests of everyone throughout the process. In the case of a split closing, there are two title agencies at the closing table, with one representing the seller and the other representing the buyer. If there is only one title agency involved, that title agency benefits all parties involved. Seller and buyer are benefited because the title agency does the research necessary to ensure the property is free to be sold. The title company also sets up escrow and facilitates the exchange of title and money.
The title agency also benefits real estate agents who rely on them to handle all of the details of closing a transaction for their clients. They also benefit the lender because they issue a policy that eliminates a great deal of risk on the lender's part. The seller or the buyer can choose the title agency and use the agency to whatever extent they see fit. There can be one title agency for both parties if there is no major conflicts, and in some cases the buyer and seller might split the cost of title agency services. All of it is a part of the process of buying a property.
If you are taking out a loan from a mortgage lender, you are required in most instances to have a lender's policy for title insurance. A lender's policy protects the lender in the event a situation arises involving the property in question. Most lenders require the policy to protect their interests.
If you are looking for a title agency you can depend on for a range of title and escrow services, Key Title & Escrow is your best option. We provide a range of title and escrow services that include property title searches, judgement and lien searches, record owner searches, Florida title and homeowner's insurance, and a range of other services.
Key Title & Escrow is the premier Florida title company. We've been serving the real estate industry for more than 23 years, developing a reputation for quality, efficient closings. We pride ourselves on providing customer service that adheres to a high set of standards. Our professionalism, fast and reliable service, and our commitment to getting the job done make us the only choice for title and escrow services in Florida.
Once you have placed your order with us, you can be assured that we are big enough to get the job done, yet small enough to care about every closing. We handle closings state wide and even handle after-hours closings. Whether you are a lender, a realtor, a seller, or a buyer, you can be assured that Key Title & Escrow is your title and closing agency. We will always have your best interest at the heart of everything we do, and our goal will always be to provide you with the fastest, smoothest closing possible. If you are in need of title insurance, title and escrow services, and closing services, contact Key Title & Escrow today.
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