Wednesday, July 24, 2019 / by Barry Owen
Even though there is not a legal requirement for an attorney to oversee the closing of real estate transactions, most of the Title Companies we recommend do have an attorney (or more) "on staff."
These attorneys are well versed in real estate law and can be quite handy to have nearby for quick and easy access for emergent issues.
Most attorneys have specialties (Estate, Tort, Divorce, etc) and have minimal direct knowledge of real estate law, so we always recommend title companies that have staff attorneys.
There's not much else in life as stressful as a real estate closing . . . especially for the Home Buyer because there are SO many documents to sign, so we advise our clients to work with a Title Company with a known track record.
The Attorneys in a title company do not represent the home Buyers and Sellers. Their primary function revolves around the legalities of transferring the ownership of the property from Seller to Buyer.
Their first mission is to confirm that that the named Seller actually owns the property and has a "Clear Title" of ownership absent any "clouds" which could be in the form of liens against the property for a variety of reasons (Lawsuits, Unpaid mortgages, etc.).
Once clear Title is verified, the Title Insurance Company "writes a Title Insurance Policy" which covers the amount of the borrowed funds and an "Owner's policy" which covers the Home Owner's equity in the event there's a lawsuit against the title.
The fees for the Title Insurance are regulated by the State of Tennessee. The Title Company will also charge a "Processing and Closing Fee".
The processing and closing entails managing the Settlement Fees and all other monies relating to the transaction. They pro-rate all fees to the date of closing and receive and disburse all funds appropriately. Additionally, they explain to the buyer all of the documents the lender generates relating to the loan . . . and they prepare the deed and record it with the County after closing.
We "order Title" very early in the process because we want to be sure that the title is clear - if not . . . we'll need all the time we can have to "cure" whatever defect exists.
These days, most closings are "split closings" - meaning that the Buyer and Seller close in different places. While this may seem to be unnecessarily complicated, the process is generally smooth and efficient.
We have many recommendations for title companies throughout Middle TN - Listed in our "Allied Resources Directory" . . .
Please know, though, that if you already know a Title Attorney you know, like, and trust, we always play well with with others.