So you finally found the perfect home, but there’s one minor problem: The seller doesn’t have a title to the property. Instead they have nearly a dozen different title companies claiming to be the rightful owners of the land, and none of them will sign off on the sale until they get paid in full. How do you proceed? The answer isn’t as simple as it seems. After all, not every title company is reputable or trustworthy. In fact there are services that can make this situation even more convoluted than it already is. So how do you know when you need to hire a title services company? Read on to find out!
What is a Title Services Company?
A title services company is an independent organization that assists with clearing up the legal title to a property. They are hired by homeowners, banks, buyers, or any other party involved in the transaction to verify ownership of the property and clear up any red-tape holding up the sale. Title services companies charge a fee for this service, but they are necessary if a property has a title issue. There are three primary types of title services companies: – Abstracting companies – These titles services examine public records (such as tax and zoning information) to verify the condition of the property. – Closing agents – These companies help facilitate the closing of real estate transactions. – Closing attorneys – These companies assist in drafting documents and closing real estate transactions.
When You Should Hire a Title Company
Ideally, every homeowner should have their title cleared up before listing their house for sale. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes owners end up in situations where they can’t clear their title, such as: They inherited the land and aren’t the rightful heirs. They have a lien on the property. They have outstanding fines. They are behind on paying property taxes. They have an outstanding lawsuit. They have a failed title insurance claim. If the seller is unable to clear their title, you may have to hire a title company to help get the sale cleared up. If you are buying a new home, you should also hire a title company to ensure the seller’s title is clear.
When You Shouldn’t Hire a Title Company
While you should always hire a title company if there is a title issue, you don’t always need to hire a title company if there isn’t one. One of the most common situations where you don’t need to hire a title company is if the seller has a clean title and has had it for at least two years. If the seller has less than two years left on the title, you can ask them to extend the title. If they refuse, you can extend the title yourself through a process called title examination and guarantee. This is a process in which you hire an attorney to examine the title and legally guarantee you have rights to the property. While it’s a bit more tedious, it isn’t necessary to hire a title company.
How to Find Reputable Title Companies
Before you sign on with a title company, you should do some research and make sure they are reputable. The best way to find reputable title companies is to ask friends and family who they have hired in the past. Another option is to look online for reviews of title services companies, although keep in mind that not all of those reviews are accurate. You can also contact your state’s Department of Insurance and ask for an official recommendation of which title companies to use. If you happen to live in Florida, here is a list of the to help you get started.
When You Need to Hire an Escrow Company
An escrow company is a type of title company that specializes in holding money related to real estate transactions. Sometimes the seller and buyer will use an escrow company to make sure the seller gets paid even if the buyer can’t. When the seller places the property in an escrow, the contract between the seller and buyer is activated. They both make the required down payment and the escrow company holds the money until the sale is cleared up. If the title company can’t clear up the issue and the sale falls apart, the escrow company releases the money back to the buyer and seller.
Ultimately, the best way to avoid hiring a title services company is to make sure the seller has a clean title to begin with. You can do this by having an attorney check the title or by paying the taxes and liens yourself. If you do have to hire a title company, make sure to do your research and hire one with a good reputation. Ideally you will avoid hiring a title company until it is absolutely necessary.