What Does a Title Company Do?

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, closing on a home is a momentous life event. In many instances, the closing (or settlement process) for the real estate sale is conducted by a title agent or representative of a title company. Read on as we provide a general overview of the title company’s role in a real estate transaction.

About title companies

Title companies are business organizations that conduct home closings on both sides of the real estate transaction. A home closing is the process of transferring ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer and finalizing the home loan (mortgage) paperwork. Unless handled by a real estate attorney, closings are conducted by a title agent, often onsite at the title company office.

Title companies serve as neutral third parties to facilitate the closing process between buyers, sellers, mortgage lenders, realtors, and other professionals. From conducting title searches to issuing title insurance policies, title companies are an integral part of the real estate sale.

What is a title search?

A title search is the process of reviewing the ownership chain of a given property to determine if any title defects exist. Title defects are issues or problems with the title of a property that could interfere with an owner’s right to sell the property free and clear. A title search should involve the thorough examination of public records, screening for judgments, liens, recording errors, unpaid taxes, encumbrances, and a variety of other factors. Title defects discovered during the process of a title search (generally) must be resolved before closing can occur.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance is a type of policy designed to protect homebuyers and lenders against financial loss from title defects should any be identified after closing has occurred. There are two types of title insurance policies: an owner’s title insurance policy (which protects the homeowner) and a lender’s policy (which protects the mortgage lender). Visit our title insurance page to learn more about these indemnity policies.

Can I choose the title company for my home closing?

The ability to choose a title company can vary among states. In Virginia, however, the buyer has the right to choose the title company for their home closing.

Finding the right title insurance company for your closing can contribute to a positive settlement experience. If you are searching for a title company in Virginia Beach, VA to handle your home closing, our team at Linear Title & Escrow can help. Please contact us today to learn more.