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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is real estate title insurance?
    Title insurance protects a real estate owner and lender from encumbrances, liens, or defects in the title of a property. These issues, if not addressed before the transfer or sale of a property, can result in loss or damage to the owner or lender, which can become costly and time-consuming to resolve. Unlike other types of insurance that insure against mishaps that may happen in the future, title insurance protects against possible losses caused by acts that happened in the past and prior to the transfer of ownership.
  • What does a title agency really do?
    A title agency is a third-party representative that serves the best interests of everyone involved in the transaction by providing title insurance and closing services. The title agency performs a title search of the property from the public records. The agency will fix any issues that are found and clear the title so that the transfer can be completed. A title policy is written which ensures that the title is free and clear of any and all encumbrances. When it is time to close, the title agency is the last stop in the process. The agency prepares the settlement statement and assembles all the documents for signing, including those from the lender, and meets with parties to close the transaction.
  • What is protected under an Owner’s title insurance policy?
    An Owner’s policy protects an owner from a number of encumbrances. A few examples are: Unpaid mortgages or judgments against prior owners Unpaid real estate taxes False impersonation of the true owner of the property Forged deeds, releases, and other documents Invalid deeds recorded after the death of the owners Deeds by supposedly single persons but who are legally married Missed easements – giving one party the right to enter another party’s property Missed heirs of former owners of the home or the land on which it is situated
  • How long does title insurance last?
    Once purchased, the Owner’s title insurance remains in effect for as long as the owner and their heirs own the property.
  • How does a Lender’s Policy differ from an Owner’s Policy for Title Insurance?
    Because the lender will have a financial interest in the property, a Lender’s Policy for Title Insurance protects the lender both financially and legally if an issue with the title of the property is discovered. To issue a lender’s title policy, all other liens, mortgages, or judgments must be paid in full and released at closing. This ensures the new lender is in the first lien position.
  • Is working with a title agency required?
    If the buyer is getting a mortgage loan, a title agency is necessary for the purchase transaction.
  • How much does title insurance cost?
    The cost of title insurance is a one-time fee that is paid for at closing. It is based on the amount of the purchase price and/or mortgage loan amount. Fees are set by the Ohio Department of Insurance.
  • Who Chooses the Title Company?
    In Central Ohio it is customary for the seller choose the title agency because they typically pay for title insurance on behalf of the buyer. Contracts used by Realtors in Central Ohio have language that specifies this. Contracts are always negotiable; therefore, we go by what is written and agreed to by the parties to the transaction.
  • What are the title companies' fees?
    The title company charges standard fees, such as the Settlement Fee and Title Search Fee. The title insurance fee is a rate set by the Ohio Department of Insurance and based on the purchase price and/or mortgage loan amount. Find our fees on our free calculator
  • Are there any discounts on title insurance?
    A discount on the new Owner’s Policy can be given if the current owner/seller was issued an Owner’s Policy and is selling the property within 10 years of the time of purchase. A discount on a new Loan Policy can be given if an owner or loan policy was issued for the current owner within the past 10 years.
  • What happens to the current mortgage on the property?
    The title agency will request the current owner’s mortgage payoff statement and include the total on the settlement statement. The title agency will send the payoff amount to the lender. The lender is required to release the mortgage from the property upon full payment.
  • What kind of survey is required?
    If the buyer is purchasing a home with a mortgage loan, the lender will most likely require a Mortgage Location Survey to be completed on the property. This kind of survey is not as extensive as a survey that places pins along the property line, but a surveyor will travel to the property and map out boundary lines and determine if structures on the property are with those boundaries. The surveyor will also determine if any neighboring structures encroach on those boundaries. A survey is not required if the buyer is paying cash for a property, or the property is a condo.
  • Where do the documents for closing need to be signed?
    We provide flexible options for signing documents. Please visit our Flexible Closings page.
  • Does the down payment need to be wired to the title company?
    The State of Ohio regulates how title agencies can receive down payments. If your down payment to purchase the property is: Less than $1,000 personal checks are acceptable. Between $1,000 and $10,000 cashier's checks or wires are acceptable. More than $10,000 wires are required.
  • What is wire fraud and how do I prevent it? Be very aware of e-mails.
    Cybercriminals steal large sums of money by illegally obtaining information via elaborate online schemes. Please visit our Wire Fraud Prevention page
  • How are the proceeds delivered to the seller after closing?
    The seller can receive their proceeds in by check or by wire transfer. A wire transfer is the fastest way to receive the funds, however there could be an incoming wire fee that your bank may charge for incoming wires. If the seller is purchasing another home shortly after the closing of their sale, the proceeds wire can be sent directly to the title agency working on the purchase. This saves time between closings.
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