I recently received a phone call at 9:42 am on a Sunday morning from a very nervous couple, clients of ours who had just settled on their new home the Friday before.
Over the weekend, they began the process of moving into the house when they discovered mold along the baseboards in two of the basement closets. Not knowing where to turn, the couple called their real estate sales associate to ask if she remembered seeing anything in the seller’s disclosure regarding mold in the basement. Their sales associate confirmed that there had been no mention of any mold issue in the seller’s disclosure and after a brief discussion suggested that if they believed that this was a pre-existing condition that the seller tried to hide, they should contact an attorney on Monday. Because the couple had relocated from South Carolina, they asked their sales associate for the name of a local attorney. She told them that she didn’t have anyone that she worked with on a regular basis, but if they went online she was certain that they would find an attorney in the Doylestown area, not far from their new home.
Mr. Buyer remembered me saying at closing that ALT has a real estate attorney on staff to deal with any issues that come up during the settlement process. So they called my mobile phone and by 10:00 am, I had them on the phone with our attorney.
I’m happy to report that our attorney had the issue resolved by Monday morning, and the buyers were relieved. When I told them there would be no additional charge for his services, they were absolutely thrilled.
This is what good title companies do. They have the resources to help you manage your transaction from start to finish, and are prepared when the unexpected occurs. The in-house title affiliates offered by most real estate sales organizations and mortgage lenders are either not equipped or lack the experience to manage situations out of the ordinary.
The bottom line… Hire an experienced real estate agent familiar with the area in which you want to live to find you a house. Hire an experienced mortgage professional to explain your financing options and find the program that best fits your needs and financial goals. Finally, hire an experienced independent title insurance company to manage the settlement process on your behalf, with the resources available to handle any legal issues that might arise.
In my experience, the right team is very rarely found under the same roof.