FAQs – Title, Closing and Escrow Questions & Answers
Below are some of the frequently asked questions our clients ask us. Don’t see your question here? Please give Sanders Title Company a call at 727-328-7733 and ask one of our professionals for assistance.
The two standard forms of title insurance policies are:
- The Owner Policy insures the homeowner against certain risks or hidden threats potentially associated with the title;
- The Lender or Loan Policy insures the lender that the mortgage is a valid lien or security on the property.
When real estate is sold, a title company often is asked to search the property’s title history for defects which can adversely affect the property’s value. From the search, the title company prepares a report called a title abstract, or an even more extensive title history. Mortgage lenders generally require a title search before they will loan money.
When a buyer and seller reach agreement on the terms of sale, all parties involved give their portion of the transaction—money, deeds, policies, legal documents—to the escrow agent. The escrow agent ensures everyone does what they agreed to do before handing over the deed and distributing the funds appropriately.
By the time the property changes hands, or the refinance is complete, all the variables are coordinated and everyone has peace of mind that it was all done correctly.
Also in attendance are the closing agent, the title insurance rep, and the escrow agent. Sanders Title Company typically fulfills these three roles, coordinating and documenting the transfer of documents and money, disbursing funds, and taking care of numerous closing details.
The following residential closing actions transfer the ownership of property from seller to buyer:
- All legal documents are signed. These generally include the closing statement, Truth in Lending statement, mortgage note, deed of trust, affidavits from buyer or seller, and any contract riders.
- The buyer (or the lending agent for the buyer) gives the seller a check for the amount owed toward the purchase price of the home or property.
- The seller signs the deed over to the buyer. The seller also transfers the keys to the homebuyer.
- The title company registers the new deed listing the buyer as the new homeowner.
- After closing costs are paid and the remaining balance on the mortgage is satisfied, the seller receives all proceeds earned on the sale.