Monday, December 04, 2006

How to Get a Fair Deal on Title Insurance

Daily Real Estate News December 4, 2006
How to Get a Fair Deal on Title Insurance
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Michael Sorkin

Here is a short article that I found in the 'REALTOR Magazine - Daily News' this morning. I thought it was helpful for consumers in the Hemet Real Estate market to help answer questions about Title Insurance - since it is one of the most expensive line items, when it comes to closing costs - for both the buyer and seller.
- John Occhi, Hemet REALTOR

Title insurance businesses have been criticized recently for overcharging customers. Here are some suggestions for making sure that you and your clients get a fair deal.

Purchase title insurance from a title insurance agent or company. Don’t let a banker of builder mandate a company – that’s illegal.

Make sure the title company is properly licensed with the state.

Ask to see the rates the agency files with the state to make sure you are paying the appropriate premium for the risk involved.

Identify the underwriter that will insure the title.

Demand and review the results of the title search and the cost of title insurance and fees before the closing date.

Ask for itemized charges. The cost for the insurance itself can’t be negotiated, but the fees can be.

Check for any exceptions to the coverage, for things such as mechanics' liens, by reviewing Schedule B before closing.

Ask if your title agency's underwriter will provide a "closing protection letter." It protects you from title defects arising from negligence or dishonesty of the agent.
File any complaint promptly with your state insurance regulatory agency.Source:


Blogger Diane Cipa, The Closing Specialists® said...

John: Just a few comments. Thank you for posting the article. The overall message is right on. Consumers need to shop for title insurance and closing services.

Consider price, reputation, and experience. Price is easy to shop because you can request itemized quotes in writing before making your decision. Reputation and experience are a little harder to shop, but at least keep it in mind. A cheap but crappy closing experience is not necessarily what you want either.

I have found that consumers who at least request quotes in writing will get a better price than those who don't - even from the same vendors.

Be careful about "closing protection letters" as they may only offer protection to the lender. In Pennsylvania they are called "closing services letters" and are only available for mortgage lenders though the buyer actually pays for them - $35.

6:31 AM  

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