I’ve always said that an educated home buyer should start the process by finding the title/settlement company they would like to use before they get emotionally involved in negotiating for the new house. This is especially important when buying new construction. When you deal with a builder, you’ll need a good title company to assist you in leveling the playing field.
Your title company should act as an independent set of eyes reviewing the title to the property to ensure that any liens or judgments created by your builder have been satisfied. And a good title insurance company will offer you the legal resources that you’ll need before you sign any/all of your rights away.
Your title company should be a neutral party, because you’ll rely on them to look out for your best interests. Most builders do not use a standard agreement of sale. Typically, if you’ve looked at four different developments with four different builders, there will be four different agreements of sale. Rest assured that the builder had their legal team draft the agreement of sale to protect their best interests, not yours.
When you buy new construction, select a title company without any connection (or financial interest) to your builder or any real estate sales company that might be part of the transaction in order to avoid any conflicts of interest. Also, knowing your agreement of sale is most likely written in the builder’s favor, make sure your title company will help you evaluate these documents.
A full service title company will have a real estate attorney on staff, and provide other services, in order to assist buyers with special circumstances like new construction. In fact, a full service title company should be able to extend these additional services to clients at little to no additional charge.
For example, every ALT client has access to our in-house real estate and banking attorney, to review agreements and related disclosures, before signing them. We provide this service, and several others, at no additional charge.
When you hire a title company, the following list of services, which protect the interests of both you and your lender, should be included in the one-time title insurance premium that you’ll pay at settlement. If you’re being referred to a title insurance company that doesn’t offer these services or that charges an additional fee for some or all of these services, you might want to reach out to us for a free consultation.
- Our in-house attorney is available to review and explain your agreement of sale and all disclosures before you sign them.
- We send a letter to all parties introducing our company, along with a pre-settlement checklist so that you know what needs to be accomplished prior to closing, and who to contact with questions.
- We order your title commitment.
- We distribute the title commitment to all parties, including real estate agents, lender & attorneys.
- We provide your lender with information needed to issue a loan commitment.
- We clear all outstanding issues on the title report.
- We can assist the seller and/or their real estate agent with mortgage payoffs, tax and other necessary municipal certifications.
- We coordinate the time and place of settlement and email settlement notices to all interested parties.
- We review the preliminary settlement sheet with you and answer all questions.
- We provide you with the amount of certified funds needed for settlement.
- We attend settlement at the time and location of your choice.
- We prepare the deed conveying the property to you.
- We discuss your options for taking title to the property.
- We notarize all pertinent legal and loan documents.
- We ‘overnight’ loan documents to your lender.
- We provide you with a secure electronic copy of all closing documents.
- We store all of your closing documents electronically in a secure location for future reference.
- We offer you 24 hour access to our entire staff via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The owners of our company, along with our in-house real estate attorney, with a combined 75+ years of real estate experience are available via mobile phone, text and email 24/7.