Prior to Closing

  • Conduct Title Search
  • Coordinate all aspects of title services with appropriate parties
  • Prepare all necessary documents
  • Schedule settlement

During Closing

  • Account for all funds
  • Review closing documents
  • Disburse all mortgage loan or sale proceeds
  • Satisfy all lender requirements
  • Record Transfer Documents
  • Issue Title Insurance Policy

Why Title Insurance?

Owning real estate is one of the most precious values of freedom in this country. You want the assurance that the property you are buying will be yours. Other than your mortgage holder, no one else should have any claims or restrictions against your home.

Title insurance is issued after a careful examination of the public records. But even the most thorough search cannot absolutely assure that no title faults are present, despite the knowledge and experience of professional title examiners. In addition to matters shown by public records, other title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search. Title insurance eliminates any risks and losses caused by faults in title from an event that occurred before you owned the property.

Title insurance is different from other types of insurance in that it protects you, the insured, from a loss that may occur from matters or faults from the past. Other types of insurance such as auto, life, or health cover you against losses that may occur in the future. Title insurance does not protect against any future faults, but does protect you from risks or undiscovered interests. Another difference is that you pay a one-time premium for a policy that remains effective until the property is sold to a new owner – even if that doesn’t occur for decades.

What is a Lender’s Policy?

A lender’s policy, also known as a loan policy or a mortgage policy, protects the lender against loss due to unknown title defects. It also protects the lender’s interest from certain matters which may exist, but may not be known at the time of the sale.

This policy only protects the lender’s interest. It does not protect the purchaser. That is why a real estate purchaser needs an owner’s policy.

What is an owner’s policy?

An owner’s policy protects you, the purchaser, against a loss that may occur from a fault in the ownership or interest you have in the property. You should protect the equity in your new home with a title policy.

What does an owner’s policy provide?

Protection from financial loss due to demands that may be charged against the title to your home, up to the cost of the title policy.

Payment of legal costs if the title insurer has to defend your title against a covered claim.

Payment of successful claims against the title to your home covered by the policy, up to the cost of the policy.

Why the seller needs to provide title insurance?

Any purchaser will need evidence that his investment in your property is free of title defects. The title insurance policy that you provide the purchaser is a guarantee that you are selling a clear title to your real estate, unencumbered by any legal attachments that might limit or jeopardize ownership. It will reassure your purchaser that he or she is protected from any risks or losses and could help you close your deal.

Why the buyer needs title insurance?

Without title insurance, you may not be fully protected against errors in public records, hidden defects not disclosed by the public records, or mistakes in examination of the title. As a result, you may be held fully accountable for any prior liens, judgments or claims brought against your new property. If this should occur, your title policy insures that you will be defended at no cost against all covered claims up to the amount of the policy.

How much does title insurance cost?

The insurance commission approves and controls the premiums for title insurance policies. The premiums are paid only once and the cost depends upon the purchase price of the property and the policy amount must be equal to the purchase price.

What does title insurance protect from?

  • Undisclosed heirs
  • Forged deeds, mortgages, wills, releases and other documents
  • False impersonation of the true land owner
  • Deeds by minors
  • Documents executed by a revoked or expired Power of Attorney
  • False affidavits of death or heirship
  • Probate matters
  • Fraud
  • Deeds and wills by persons of unsound mind
  • Conveyances by undisclosed divorced spouses
  • Rights of divorced parties
  • Deeds by persons falsely representing their marital status
  • Adverse possession
  • Defective acknowledgements due to improper or expired notarization
  • Forfeitures of real property due to criminal acts
  • Mistakes and omissions resulting in improper abstracting
  • Errors in tax records

Customer Information Services 

Need it? Got it. Need it fast? Happy to help.

  • List Packs/Trios *
  • CC&Rs and Deed Copies *
  • Map Kits *
  • Targeted Prospecting Lists **
  • Notice of Default Searches **

* Availability of Information is restricted based on state regulations and customer type.
** Additional fees may apply based on state regulations.

Exchange it 1031

A 1031 exchange, or like-kind exchange (LKE), allows you to defer various forms of taxes—including capital gains, depreciation recapture, and state tax in most states. You can be eligible for a 1031 Exchange when you sell real estate that meets these requirements.

Like-Kind Requirement

Generally, all real estate is like-kind to other types or kinds of real estate. For example, an apartment building could be exchanged for a retail center.

Use of a Qualified Intermediary

An unrelated third party or Qualified Intermediary (QI) may be used to facilitate the 1031 exchange transaction. A taxpayer cannot utilize their realtor, lawyer, accountant or a related party, or agent as a QI. Additionally, several states require that QIs be compliant with regulatory requirements regarding insurance, bonding, and the manner in which exchange funds are held, state licensing, etc.

Time Limits & Identification Requirement

A taxpayer is required to acquire or identify the target replacement property within 45 days after the transfer of the relinquished property. A written document that recognizably identifies the replacement property must be signed by the taxpayer and received by the Qualified Intermediary on or before the 45th day. Properties acquired within the 45-day designation period are deemed to be identified. A taxpayer has 180 days (or the due date for filing of taxes for the year the property was sold) to acquire the replacement property. For example, if the relinquished property is sold in December, the due date for the filing the tax return for that year would be less than 180 days. In such case, it would be necessary for the taxpayer to file for a tax-filing extension in order to utilize the full 180 days.

Exchange Requirement

It is not enough for properties to be sold and purchased within the timelines. An actual exchange must take place in which one property is exchanged for another of like-kind. Use of a Qualified Intermediary can ensure the sale and purchase become an exchange. More than one property may be sold or acquired through a 1031 exchange.

Holding Period Requirement

There is no holding period that is specifically defined in Section 1031 or the regulations. It is largely a matter of the taxpayer’s intent when the property was acquired. For example, the intent can generally be determined by such factors as actual rental, proof of attempted rental, etc. However, if a replacement property is acquired then immediately sold or fixed up and sold, that might indicate the property was acquired for resale and is therefore dealer property or inventory and cannot qualify for an exchange under Section 1031.

Qualified Use Requirement

Assets to be exchanged must have been held for productive use in a trade or business or held for investment.

No Constructive or Actual Receipt of Exchange Funds

It is a violation if the taxpayer (or an agent for the taxpayer) receives exchange funds or the taxpayer is directly or indirectly able to control the exchange funds during the exchange period. Use of a Qualified Intermediary can prevent any improper receipt of funds for exchange purposes.

Please contact your local branch for more information.

Find your Branch