What is a title search? A title search looks for mortgage, judgments and liens that are appearing on public recorded against a specific real estate property.
What is the purpose of title insurance? Title insurance insures against financial loss from defects in title to real property. Similar to fire insurance, it protects an owner or a lender against claims against the land. Title insurance was first developed in 1850 in Pennsylvania to protect buyers and lenders from defective property rights. It will defend against a lawsuit attacking the title as it is insured, or reimburse the insured for the actual monetary loss incurred, up to the dollar amount of insurance provided by the policy.
What does a title company do? The title company handles the title search and escrow aspects of the transaction. They coordinate and act as the center point for the closing for buyers, sellers, lenders, realtors and third parties such as surveyors, insurance companies, and inspectors. Prior to closing, they put together all the pieces of the puzzle with the primary objective being to clear title and make sure all judgments, liens, and encumbrances are satisfied at closing.
Who pays for closing costs? Buyers and sellers each have separate closing costs related to their transaction. The contract language customarily determines who pays for what costs such as title insurance, lien search, title search and deed taxes on the sale. Buyers customarily pay for their loan related expenses with the exception of some VA or FHA loans. Regions within each state usually have established “customs” for cost allocations, but buyers and sellers should not assume anything and carefully read the contract.
What are settlement charges? Settlement charges are all the closing costs you will have for your closing and will be itemized on the Closing Disclosure early on in the loan process and then again three days before closing as per law.
Why does a buyer or a lender need Florida title insurance? When you purchase your home, how can you be sure that there are no problems with the home’s title and that the seller really owns the property? Problems with the title can limit your use and enjoyment of the property, as well as bring financial loss. A title search and the one-time expense of title insurance prevents these issues.
How long does the title process take? The title due diligence takes about an average of 7-10 business days. However, closings can be expedited if all parties cooperate. The average closing takes about 30-45 calendar days due to loan approval timelines. Your contract will specify your closing deadlines.
Who will schedule my closing? The closing will be scheduled by the title company in coordination with your lender, if applicable.
When do I pay for these title services? Customarily, all the fees and title insurance are paid at the closing.
Why do I need a survey? A survey establishes the property boundaries (shape and size) of the property you intend to purchase, it reveals encroachments and easements on the property (if any exist) and it also provides information on the access to your property (i.e. driveway). A survey is certified to the buyer, the title company, and the lender (when applicable). If you waive your right to a survey (option for cash buyers only), you have no recourse against the title insurance for survey matters.
Is Florida title insurance a one-time expense? Yes, this is a one-time expense but protects your title to the house for as long as you own the house.