The primary role of a title company is to issue title insurance on a piece of property to protect owners and lenders from any disputes that may result in legal claims. Title companies also conduct a thorough search of a property’s title to make sure it is free from any liens, judgments or other encumbrances. Once a title company completes the search of a property’s title, it will determine that the title is valid to insure and that the buyers of a property are the rightful owners.
Title companies also serve other roles in real estate transactions. Title companies often act as closing agents to complete the buying and selling of real estate. During the closing process, title companies act as mediators between the buyers and sellers. Title companies ensure that all closing documents are in place and that all funds are disbursed to the appropriate parties, including payoffs and closing costs.
Title companies often work as escrow officers or agents on real estate transactions. Escrow officers will maintain escrow accounts that contain money or documents that are part of the real estate transaction. The money in the accounts can go toward the purchase price of real estate, or it is used to pay property taxes, liens, judgments or other encumbrances. Escrow agents cannot release any money or documents related to the real estate transaction unless it is agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
Searching the Title
Title companies maintain advanced, sophisticated technology that ensures they conduct a thorough title review. The technology scans any information that is a matter of public record on any piece of real estate. The title company will then issue a title commitment to all interested parties. Title companies also disclose any information related to foreclosures and any other legal action that may be attached to the subject property.
Issuing Title Insurance
Since it is nearly impossible to guarantee that a title is completely free from liens or encumbrances, lenders require that title insurance is issued to protect their lien. When a title company issues title insurance, it guarantees that the title is recorded and reported in the county of the property’s location. Title insurance protects the insured parties from fraudulent ownership claims and any unforeseen liens or encumbrances.