What is the role of a Title Company in a typical Real Estate transaction?
The Title Company is a neutral third party that performs the following functions in relation to the Closing of a Real Estate transaction:

  • Receives an executed contract, purchase and sales agreement, and/or lender’s instructions
  • Orders the abstract
  • Orders the Title Opinion
  • Orders and delivers a commitment for title insurance to the appropriate parties of the transaction
  • Orders all payoff statements and demands necessary to clear the title
  • Obtains all documents needed to transfer title
  • Prepares the Settlement Statement
  • Obtains all necessary signatures and funds to close the transaction
  • Closes the transaction
  • Records and delivers all documents

Do I have to attend the Closing?
It is recommended for you to try to attend your Closing, but it is not a requirement.  If you are unable to attend, you must make arrangements for a Title Company in your area to conduct a Courtesy Signing.

What is an abstract?
An abstract is a full and complete record of all matters filed of public record that affect ownership rights to a particular piece of real property.  In other words, an abstract is the history of a parcel of land based on its legal description which depicts the sequence of ownership from the time the property was first recognized by a government agency and includes official items filed in the County Clerk’s and Court Clerk’s office pertaining to property or the property’s owner(s).  When complete, the abstract provides evidence of title to the property.

What is a title?
A land title is the legal right which a person has to the ownership and possession of land.

What is a title opinion?
A title opinion is the interpretation of all the deeds, mortgages, court decrees and all other legal documents affecting the title, considering the sequence of transactions and other events, and applying the law and court decisions to the various circumstances identified in the title examination. 

What is title insurance and what is it used for?
Title insurance is a policy that provides protection against serious financial loss due to a defect in the title to the property purchased. This affordable insurance lets you rest easy knowing that the land records of the County have been searched for liens and judgments, an attorney has examined the records relating to your property, and any requirements have been fulfilled. The title is clear upon purchase and there is an insurance policy to back it up. Title insurance gives buyers the peace of mind knowing that any defects to the title have been fulfilled, and any unknown defects such as a fraudulent or forged document, invalid conveyance, or impersonation will not result in financial loss to you. Your ownership will be defended promptly against claims, at no cost to you, whether the claim is valid or not. Title insurance covers both claims arising out of title problems that should have been discovered in the public records, and those hidden defects that could not be discovered in the record, even with the most complete examination.  The policy covers any valid claim made against the insured’s title, and pays for the costs and legal expenses of defending against a title claim.

What is a title defect?
A defect in a land title can be any legal right held by someone other than the owner.  That right may give the holder claim to the property or convey legal demands on the owner of the property. 

Some sources of defects:

  • Invalid ownership of the property
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs
  • Wills not probated
  • Illegal deeds, releases or wills
  • Invalid or misfiled legal instruments
  • Forged documents
  • Invalid ownership of the property
  • Liens caused by unpaid taxes
  • Undisclosed divorce of one who conveys as a sole heir of a deceased former spouse
  • Clerical errors in Public Records


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