Wednesday, August 21, 2019 / by Barry Owen
There are many Title Companies throughout Middle Tennessee, and you may already have had a good experience with a Title Company in the past.
YOU can choose which Title Company to hire for your closing. It is common for Buyer and Seller to close with different Title Companies. Prior to this "digital era", most real estate transactions involved only a single Title Company, and all parties would close at the same time in the same place - Buyers signed first, then Sellers signed, and the money was exchanged for the title. These days, most closings happen with sellers and Buyer closing in different places and times. While this may sound unnecessarily complicated, it generally works very smoothly.
Title Companies do not "represent" the Buyers or Sellers. In fact, while most Title Companies have attorneys present for closings, there is no requirement for an attorney to perform a closing . . . There is no legal requirement in Tennessee for a Title Company to even have an attorney on staff.
Title Insurance Companies are just what their name implies . . . Insurance "agents" who represent large Title Insurance companies. They "Write Policies" which protect the Mortgage Lenders' "investment" in the form of providing the funds loaned to the Buyer and the equity of the Home owners. Their most important function is to perform a "Title Search" to discover any possible "defects" or "clouds" on the chain of ownership. This protects the possibility of a prior owner suing the new owner based on a claim of ownership. These policies are "underwritten" just as all insurance policies.
If you bought the house you are selling (or refinanced your loan) fewer than 10 years ago, you may be eligible for a "Re-issue credit". Dig up your "old" Title Policy and provide it to the title company . . . This could save you hundreds $
In Middle Tennessee, most transactions are written with the Sellers paying for this title Policy, but is only a "customary practice." Most Builders will not pay for this, and any negotiation could call for the Buyer to pay for it.
Other than writing the title policy, these companies commonly generate the final closing documents, create the new Title, and are the conduit for all of the money with the use of a Federally required standard ALTA Settlement Statement.
Their final function is the closing during which the "closer" executes all of the myriad documents required for the transaction to be finalized.
One final comment . . . As the Seller, you may be due a large sum of money.
BEWARE! Most large sums must be wired from a bank to the Title Companies. One of the most prevalent crimes in the world now are "Cyber Crimes". These are unscrupulous people who attempt to "insert" themselves into a transaction so they can redirect wired fund to an off-shore account instead to the Title Company or the seller . . . Do not EVER authorize wired funds without direct human to human (with humans you know) interaction. Nothing associated with wiring transfers of money should be communicated in non-encrypted digital means.
Many folks do not understand the vital functions Title Companies perform . . . These are important people.
Your Vital Few Agent of Pareto Realty will "handle the details" regarding the Title Company.