The title search process is undertaken on behalf of the buyer of a property. The purpose of a title search is to access the public records of that property. The investigation will determine if others may have an interest in the property or if there are any costly covenants, liens or restricting regulations impacting the property.
Why do homebuyers need title searches?
The title search is performed when a home owner wants to transfer ownership or refinance his/her mortgage.
- A title search is critical to assure that the seller has a “saleable” interest in the property. When making this biggest of purchases, and most times borrowing a very significant amount of money, you (and your lender) want to make sure the seller is the rightful owner acting in good faith.
- As a homebuyer you want to be fully apprised of any restrictions on the use of your property. Things like a neighbor using your driveway or an underground utility that limits land use are issues buyers ned to know.
- A title search will look to determine any outstanding loans, back taxes, other mortgages or mechanic’s liens. These types of open “obligations” stick with the property not the seller.
How do I find a Title Agency?
Certain regions and areas within states have differing protocols on the management of the buy/sell/closing process. Your lawyer, lender or real estate professional most likely has title providers they may like. However, all buyers are free to independently choose a title company to conduct their title search.
Here are 7 important factors to consider when choosing a title agency
- Efficiency: Not all title service providers can or will do evening or weekend closings. You will want one point of contact within the agency who can provide immediate call back.
- Experience: It takes years to hone your investigative skills in the title business. Uncovering mistakes to protect the buyer is one thing, being able to correct the mistake and keep the closing on schedule, that’s experience you want on your team.
- Technology: Document tracking systems like the Fortune File Tracker enable homebuyers to track the progress of their title search online 24/7 and receive alerts immediately when documentation is returned and completed.
- Security: Government and industry regulations are in place. Find out if your agency complies with all the American Land Title Association’s Title Insurance & Settlement Company Best Practices.
- Cost: The services provided by title companies and fees they charge are generally regulated by states. Although fees may be equal, the quality of servicing can vary greatly.
- Special Skills: Some title agencies have speciality areas of focus. Fortune Title Agency, for instance, has extensive experience handling foreclosures.
- Title Insurance: As thorough as any title search or agency may be, mistakes in title can still occur. Title Insurance protects the borrower in the event that a recorded transaction was not properly interpreted.
The seven factors listed above are critical to ensuring your title search process is conducted with speed and ease. Homebuyers have a choice in the matter of selecting a title agency that provides high quality servicing. Learn more about what makes Fortune Title Agency the leading title agency servicing the NJ and PA area.