When it comes down to buying a home, closing is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Everyone’s thinking about neighborhoods, inspections, flood zones, wind zones, and 100 other things – even the buyers and sellers agents can get caught up in the whirl. However, picking the right title company is critical to making sure that the title to the home being bought and sold is clear. The buyer’s title could be compromised by any number of clouds and defects on the title. For instance a workman could have a lien against the property, there may be unpaid property taxes, or other undisclosed claims from the heirs of previous owners. For real estate agents, one bad title search can put an entire career on the line. This is why it’s important to choose your title agency wisely.
How to Choose
- Ask around. Talk with other agents about the title companies that they are using, and get the inside scoop on how they conduct business. You can also talk with your neighbors about which title company they used when they purchased their home. Ask them if they would use the same title company again.
- The Better Business Bureau can tell you if there are any complaints against your title agency, and so can Florida’s Department of Financial Services.
- Title insurance agents are required to be licensed by the state of Florida after completing a 40 hour classroom course and passing an examination, or they must present qualifications stating that they have otherwise qualified and pass a state examination.
- Title insurance rates are set by law by the state of Florida, but there will be other fees at closing payable by both the buyer and the seller. By presenting your clients with a clear schedule of fees and an explanation of closing costs, you will have eliminated a huge source of stress and educated your clients. Remember, many of these fees are negotiable.
- You must disclose if you have any financial interest in a title agency, so if you do make it very clear.
- Make sure that the agency you choose and recommend has an impeccable reputation for fairness and transparency.
- It is also important to note that not all clouds on a title are the result of a faulty title search. Especially on older properties documents may not be scanned in in a timely fashion, so it is very important to choose a title company with experience in thorough title searches.
Remember, your clients are not obligated to use the services of any inspectors, title agents, or other services that you might recommend and you are required to disclose any financial interest that you might have with these companies. Instead, urge your clients to look up reputations online and show them that you are referring them to trustworthy companies. You will make your reputation as an agent with impeccable resources on tap to make the home buying process easier for buyers and sellers all around.