What is a Title Company?
You are about to buy your first home. You are feeling very excited, maybe a bit overwhelmed, and maybe a bit scared. After all, buying a home is a big deal, and you want everything to be perfect. You may even have begun looking at new furniture for your home and discussing new paint colors for your kitchen and bedroom. There can be so much to do!
First things first: you have to close on your new home. When you close on your new home, you will sign all of the paperwork with a title company. But what is a title company and what do they do? Title Partners of South Florida is a title company that specializes in handling all of your paperwork at the closing of your home purchase in South Florida. We primarily serve Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties. Below, we’ll help you understand what exactly a title company is and what we do. Contact us today to get started!
In essence, a title company works for you and works to protect you. The main roles of a title company include:
- Verifying the title to the property you are buying or selling.
- May do a property survey.
- Issues title insurance policies.
- Facilitates the home closing.
- Handles the property’s escrow account.
- Files the title with the buyer’s name with the county, proving you are the owner. Also files and records the additional paperwork, such as for the mortgage company.
Let’s dive in, and take a bit closer look at these very crucial functions a Florida title company performs.
Verifies the Title
This is one of the most important jobs of a title company, and the first thing a title company does. After all, you want to make sure the property you are buying is indeed being sold by the owner. Before the institution of title companies, title fraud was rampant. Title companies help to prevent fraud by performing a title search to make sure the person selling the property is indeed the owner of the property and that no one else can claim ownership to it (such as having someone else’s name on the property).
A title company also looks for outstanding mortgages, liens, judgement, or unpaid property taxes on the property, as well as if the property has any restrictions, such as zoning restrictions for use of the property, a lease, or an easement, which is a right of way for nearby roads. Most mortgage companies require a title search in order to ensure the home they are about to lend money on is in fact legitimate. The title company will formally declare its findings in a title report, often called a Title Opinion Letter.
The purpose of a property survey is to verify the boundaries of the home and land it sits on or that you are buying. When purchasing land, you will probably have a property survey done. On homes in subdivisions, Title Partners of South Florida notes that property searches are often not necessary. Some mortgage companies do, however, require this as well for lending purposes.
Title Partners of South Florida often gets the question, “What is title insurance and why do I need it?” Like most insurances, title insurance emerged to solve a problem that often occurred in the history of real estate transactions. The problem was this: You pay for the home and close on it, but then someone comes forward and claims the home is theirs and you bought it illegally. This situation does happen (thankfully, not too often in modern times) when a title company makes a mistake. Oftentimes, it’s simply numbers that are transposes on street addresses. However, title insurance protects you, the buyer, by paying the lender what they are owed since you are now legally responsible for a loan with no collateral (or they pay you for the value of the home if you paid cash). You’ll often see title insurance referred to as lender’s insurance (that insurance which protects the lender) and owner’s insurance (that insurance that protects the buyer).
Handles the Home Closing
The title company handles the home closing. This is beneficial to both the buyer and the seller because you are getting an impartial entity (the title company) who acts on both of your behalfs with no conflict of interest. All payments (such as money owed or money gotten out) goes through the title company. The mortgage documents (if you are getting a mortgage) are handled by the title company at closing as well. Thus, your title company in Florida has to be well versed in all of the legal requirements for the loans, the deed, tax certificates, title insurance policies, and other state laws that impact homebuyers.
The company files all of the documents and records the new deed and title in the buyer’s name with the county, making the home official yours if you are the buyer, and officially not the seller’s.
Handles the Escrow Account of the Property
When you make a down payment, the money is held by the title company. Again, this is good for both buyers and sellers so that the money can be accounted for, and that there is no conflict of interest. However, the title company has to abide by what’s in the written contract between the buyer and the seller. Thus, the deed to the home is surrendered to the new property owner upon payment of the funds at closing.
A title company comes into play once a contract has been placed on a home for sale. This is when you or your real estate agent or the seller’s agent contacts a title company. Their job is not done until after the closing when all of the appropriate paperwork has been filed correctly.
As you can see, a title company has a myriad of jobs that is mostly done unseen by both the buyer and the seller. In fact, loan closings as we know them today would be infinitely harder and much more cumbersome to your real estate agent without title companies. Remember, title companies are here to protect you, the buyer, and the seller. If there are ever any questions about any of the paperwork or the title process, your title company in Florida will be more than happy to assist you.
Title Partners of South Florida views our job of helping homeowners purchase homes and sellers move on to their new home as a privilege. We love the thrill you must feel of being able to call a place home, and nothing makes us happier than seeing your happy. We do our best to make your loan closing quick, efficient, and fun. We often have cookies and treats, as well as activities for the kids to do. Our title officers are amazing at what they do and can answer any of your questions during the loan closing process and at any time. Our doors are always open if you want to stop in and say hi.
Title Partners of South Florida works diligently to make sure that when you step through our doors, the only thing that will be tired when you leave is your hand from signing all the forms. Bear in mind, the forms will protect you in case of a misstep in the homebuying process. With 25 years in the title business, we believe we offer superb customer service every single day.
We also want to make the lives of busy real estate agents easier as well when they choose to partner with us for their home closings. We offer an amazing marketing package that will help you keep in contact with your customers for years to come. NextDeal, our online system, will store your clients’ real estate documents in the cloud so they can access them at any time. We then send emails throughout the year with your brand on them so that your former customers will remember you. Our system even notifies you once your clients put their home up for sale, so you can generate better repeat business.
Title Partners of South Florida’s mission is to be the best title company in all aspects of customer service, from serving real estate agents by handling all of the paperwork for them for the loan closing and process and by serving the homebuyer and seller. We are your one-stop-shop for all things title-related. Give us a call today!