Q: “Can I Choose My Own Title Insurance Company?”

This is a question we’re often asked when preparing for a real estate closing. If you’re looking into buying a new home, be aware that title insurance is typically an important factor in the closing process.

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What Is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers the mortgage lender’s interests in the transaction (Lender’s Title Insurance) and your financial investment in the property as the future homeowner (Owner’s Title Insurance). However, it’s important to understand that title insurance on your property doesn’t fall under the blanket protection of a single policy: Lender’s and Owner’s Title Insurance policies are indeed separate policies, each of which carry its own premium.

Lender’s Insurance Is Usually Required. Owner’s Insurance Is Highly Recommended.

Let’s start by saying that purchasing a Lender’s Title Insurance Policy is usually non-negotiable. Most mortgage lenders require homebuyers to have this type of policy to cover their interests in the case of title defect or other issue. But an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy, on the other hand, is entirely optional.

We do, however, strongly advise that you purchase an Owner’s policy, to protect against the loss of your home, further financial responsibilities and time in court in the event that clouds or defects on the title to your home surface in the future. See our page on title insurance to learn more on the benefits of having this coverage.

The Option to Choose Depends on Your State

Since purchasing Owner’s Title Insurance is optional, many homebuyers wish to know if they can choose their own title insurance company, or shop around for the best deal. In some states, this may be allowed. However, Virginia maintains strict regulations over the insurance industry, leading most underwriters to remain competitive in their pricing when it comes to premiums.

Whether you choose a standard or enhanced Owner’s Title Insurance plan, the difference in fees from one insurance provider to the next will likely be negligible. It’s also worth noting that purchasing an Owner’s Policy enables a discount on the Lender’s Policy, known as a “simultaneous discount rate.”

 

At Linear Title & Escrow, we put the interests of the homebuyers and sellers we are privileged enough to work with first. Our process of procuring title insurance involves working with only the most reputable insurance companies in the industry. For more information on title insurance policies or premiums, please contact us today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Must Sellers Be Present at Closing?

It’s widely understood that homebuyers must be present when closing on their real estate purchase, as mortgage notes and other documents must be signed at that time. But are sellers required to attend closings with their buyers? Read on as we discuss the role of the seller in closing on a home.

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Do Buyers and Sellers Meet at the Closing Table?

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or selling the first home you’ve ever owned, you may be wondering whether buyers and sellers come face-to-face at the closing table. However, such a scenario rarely happens. Both the buyer and seller do, in fact, have their own closings. But the process and requirements are a bit different, depending on which side of the transaction you sit.

The Seller’s Closing

From the seller’s vantage point, it’s fair to say that the closing process involves much less paperwork, and even less time compared with that of the buyer. The seller’s closing must take place prior to the buyer’s in order to convey the property in a proper and legal manner.

In some scenarios, sellers are located out-of-state, and are unable to attend the closing in person. Closings in such a case take place virtually, or via mail, with sellers signing necessary documents in the presence of a notary, and said documents being promptly transferred or delivered to the closing agent.

The following is general information regarding the seller’s closing process:

  • Sellers may or may not be required be physically attend the closing.
  • The seller’s closing takes place before that of the buyer’s.
  • Documents to be signed include the Seller’s Closing Disclosure Form/ALTA or HUD, Warranty Deed and Loan Payoff Agreement.
  • Proper identification must be presented at the time of closing.
  • Wiring instructions regarding proceeds of the sale must be clearly specified (if applicable).

Have questions about your role as a seller? Contact Linear Title & Escrow for answers today!