Title insurance is an essential piece of the property buying and selling puzzle—one which is sometimes taken for granted. But the truth is having the right title insurance company is vitally important. They play a huge role in whether your closing goes smoothly and seamlessly or gets delayed. Even after your purchase transaction, your title insurance company will be by your side throughout the time you own the property—so you want that company to be one you can trust. Though most mortgage lenders may recommend a company, you get to make the final decision.
So, when choosing a title insurance company, where should you begin? Here are four tips to get you on your way to finding a company you can believe in, for the long haul.
#1 Check each company’s reputation, and make sure they live up to your standards and those of your lender. You may also want to consider the management in the office. You’ll want to find a company known for their professionalism and experience, and having an attorney on staff is a big plus. Keep in mind, title insurance is an incredibly complex business, so finding an experienced team can be invaluable. Real estate transactions can be among the most stressful events in a person’s life, but the right title insurance company will have the experience to guarantee that the process is positive.
#2 Shop around and take a close look at the fees. Ask a lot of questions of your prospective company to get a feel for whether they’re able to accommodate your specific needs or they’re a company that has one standard way of handling insurance. When it comes to title insurance, one size does not fit all. Also check the pricing. You’ll want to know the cost for the actual title insurance, plus transfer taxes and deed preparation.
#3 Don’t be afraid to ask about discounts. Some title insurers will offer a discount when both the lender and owner policies are bought at the same time. Additional discounts may also be possible, so be sure to ask questions. River Valley Title Group, for example, offers a 20 percent discount when you present a title for reissuing. You could also be eligible for a discount if the property has been sold within the past several years, as—in some cases—less research needs to be conducted.
#4 Select a company that specializes in your region and is knowledgeable about real estate transactions like yours. A reputable title company that practices in your area should have knowledge of state laws and regulations, as well as loan requirements particular to the region and your individual transaction. Choose a title company with expertise that matches the market in which your transaction is taking place.
Selecting the right title insurance company is an important part of the real estate transaction process and one that ensures your deal goes smoothly now and into the future. A little due diligence will help you select the right company for your real estate needs.