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When buying a house, it’s vital to use a skilled title officer from a reliable title company to allow for a seamless closing. This way, the whole homebuying process will be less stressful.
Title companies typically have several critical roles when you’re buying a house, including providing title services, issuing insurance policies, facilitating closings, finalizing files, and recording paperwork.
Title companies’ roles vary by state, so some may also issue insurance, handle paperwork and funds in escrow, and act as closing agents. This guide explores what title companies and title officers do and why it’s important to work with skilled title professionals.
Why You Should Work with a Good Title Company when Buying a Home?
A skilled title officer can help protect homebuyers against fraud and watch your documents and money in escrow. That’s why the terms ‘title officer’ and ‘escrow officer’ are often used interchangeably. Their services come at a price, and here you can find out how do escrow officers get paid.
Title companies also monitor the closing and look at whether there are any problems with the property title. As a homebuyer, you will have to obtain title insurance through your title company to prevent any home ownership issues that may resurface from the past.
What Is a Title?
When you have a title on a home, you have a legal right to own and use it. These legal documents also display a home’s ownership history and determine its boundaries and permissions for use.
Typically, homeownership can’t be easily defined just by checking who lives in the home. That’s where the title steps in – it clearly defines who owns the property. Titles are filed with local government offices to ensure it’s apparent who is the owner every time the home sells.
A clean title refers to a title that doesn’t have any problems and you can see all past ownership documents. Note that the clean title is required for most sales as it makes sure the property you’re in the process of buying will be rightfully yours.
What Role Does a Title Officer Play in Real Estate Transactions?
The title officer plays a vital role in the closing process as they help facilitate it from the beginning until the end. The title officer ensures that the seller has legal ownership of the home they’re selling. However, they also assist the buyer in obtaining title insurance to stay protected in case any issue appears regarding the title of their house after they buy it.
Title officers also work with real estate agents, lenders, and other individuals that participate in the transaction to ensure all documents are completed, filed, and signed correctly. Depending on the state, title officers also make sure the money is transferred properly.
What Are the Duties of a Title Officer?
Searching public records to verify the present owners and discover any issues regarding your right of ownership is the most critical task of a title company. Since the data regarding your home is filed with your county’s recorder’s office, the title officer will search the public records to make sure the seller of the home has a legal right to sell it. If any issues complicate the whole process like a divorce, the seller won’t be able to sell you the property.
They also look for any questionable events in previous transfers of the home, fraudulent documents, and falsified signatures to safeguard your future rights of ownership from problems that may have occurred in the past.
You will want to make sure to work with a skilled title officer as they will scrutinize the property’s legal description, current mortgages, the latest survey, judgments of the court, and liens like unpaid taxes and child support.
If your home has designated easements or rights of way or is part of a homeowners association, you could be prevented from building commodities like sheds, swimming pools, or garages on specific parts of the home.
Once all information about the property is compiled, it’s sent to your mortgage lender. Only then can he compile a list of the problems that have to be straightened out before the home can be transferred to you.
Why It Is Important to Work with a Skilled Title Officer
There are various reasons to choose a good title officer that is responsible, reputable, and trustworthy. First, they will govern one of the most important purchases of your life. And if they don’t have the appropriate skills or use the right technology that allows them to bypass errors, the closing may be postponed. In worse cases, the purchase won’t be done properly. This would, in turn, negatively affect your legal right to the home.
Unprofessional title officers who also handle the disbursal of funds may cause problems because of fraud or errors, and you could lose your money.
What Makes a Good Title Officer?
A good title officer coordinates the real estate transaction adeptly and offers exceptional customer service. They also use modern technology that helps facilitate the closing process.
With cutting-edge technology, they can securely and easily communicate with homebuyers, update them about their closing status, and bypass any mistakes that may otherwise occur.
How to Find a Good Title Officer?
Your lender or real estate agent typically already has partnerships built with different title officers. So, if you trust them, you will probably consider their title officer of choice. Moreover, title companies usually have reviews online so buyers can check them beforehand and talk with their lender or real estate agent in case they need some clarifications.
Since it’s not uncommon for the owner to be unclear, homebuyers need to learn about the process of obtaining it as soon as possible. Although the home-buying process can be challenging, it doesn’t need to be if you work with a good title officer.