Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions we receive in regards to our industry. Hopefully our answers to these questions will take some of the mystery and unknowns out of the settlement process.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT CLOSING?
Many people may attend the closing: the buyer and their real estate agent, a loan officer, the seller (or builder) and their real estate agent and your settlement officer. During the meeting, which usually takes about an hour, the buyer and the seller review all of the relevant closing papers, many of which must be signed. Then after the buyer provides a cashier's **restrictions apply** or certified check**restrictions apply** or wired funds for the down payment and closing costs, the keys are passed to the buyer and the proceeds are given to the seller.
WHAT IS TITLE INSURANCE?
A title is the evidence that verifies one has right to possession of land. Title insurance plays a major role in making certain that your home ownership is free and clear of any rights or claims of prior owners. Title insurance protects the homeowner and the mortgage lender from potential risks associated with defects in title.
There are two kinds of title insurance: Owner's and Lender's.
Owner's Coverage is issued at the time the buyer purchases the property. Coverage is paid based upon the purchase price or the loan amount, whichever is greater. Coverage will last as long as the buyer or the buyer's heirs have an interest in the property. However, an owner's policy is not issued when you refinance.
Lender's or Mortgagee's Coverage protects the lender's investment in the property. However, this policy insures the lender against title defects that may affect the security of the mortgage loan - not the buyer's investment. The lender's title insurance policy is based on the amount of the mortgage and it decreases as the mortgage is paid off. Even if the lender has a title policy, the buyer still needs an owner's title policy to protect his/her interest.
WHAT DO I BRING TO CLOSING?
BUYERS/BORROWERS - Please bring the following to settlement:
Homeowners/Hazard Insurance Policy with one year paid receipt or bill.
All cash and refinance closings require funds to be wired to our office directly. Contact our office for wiring instructions.**
All closings that include a new mortgage we will accept a cashier's check up to $100,000.00 (restrictions may apply). For amounts over $100,000.00 we require funds to be wired to our office directly. Contact our office for wiring instructions.**
Social Security Number.
Any special lender requirements.
REMINDER: Be sure to transfer all utilities into your name.
SELLERS* - Please bring the following to settlement:
Any unpaid tax bills; original paid tax receipts or tax certifications.
Water/sewer/refuse bills or original paid receipts.
Social Security Number.
Use and Occupancy Certificate (if applicable).
Bring all house keys, mailbox keys, garage door openers, etc.
Stop automatic withdrawals with your mortgage company.
REMINDER: Be sure to transfer all utilities out of your name.
*If the sellers will need their funds wired DIRECTLY after settlement, please notify us immediately.
**PLEASE NOTE: We will accept a personal check up to $300.00. Cash will not be accepted at closing. (NOTE: If property is located in State of Ohio please be aware that the laws for the State of Ohio do not allow us to accept any personal/business checks.)
WHY DO I NEED TITLE INSURANCE?
Title insurance is necessary to protect against those risks which are present in all real estate transactions. Hidden hazards, which cannot be detected in the examination of title, can be forgery, incompetence of grantor or mortgagor, fraud, unknown heirs, impersonation, prior taxes or liens. And these are just to name a few.
HOW MUCH DOES TITLE INSURANCE COST?
Title insurance is directly related to the value of the property. The higher its value, the more coverage is needed. The premium is small compared to the total purchase price. The premium is paid only once and remains in force for as long as the property is owned by the insured.