What is a Title Company?
Becoming a homeowner is a dream for many Americans. While the process can be exciting, it can also be confusing. How can a buyer be certain that the home they are buying is free and clear of outstanding liens by previous owners? How can they be sure that the home is legally theirs after putting the money down and getting a loan? Real estate purchases are so significant that ample due diligence must always be taken to guarantee the seller has all rights to transfer the property to the buyer. Legally, any change in real property ownership requires a formal chain of title that guarantees the undisputed possession of that land and the home on it. This is where the title company comes in. While many states use an attorney to convey titles at a closing, Texas is one of 19 states that does not. In Texas, when real estate is bought, a title company is used. A title company, such as signature service provider Frontier Title, makes sure that the title to a piece of real estate is legitimate and free and clear of mortgages and liens. While this sounds simple enough, there is a lot more involved than one would expect.
What Does a Title Company Do?
One of the most important things a title company does (hence the name title) is the title review. Title companies have sophisticated real estate title search and review departments. Frontier Title claims to have the soundest research and most solvent underwriters in the business. These departments and individuals review the public records relating to real estate in order to inform all interested parties of the status and condition of title to the subject property. They look through all the deeds of the property being sold or bought to make sure the seller has the right to sell the property. Title companies generally provide this information to each of the parties in the form of a preliminary title report, or commitment for title insurance. Title insurance protects the lender and/or owner against lawsuits or claims against the property that result from disputes over the title. Title companies also provide title research information related to foreclosures and other types of legal action involving real property.
Other Roles of Title Companies
In addition to taking care of the title to the property, title companies play several other key roles in common real estate transactions. Title companies generally act as the combined agent of the insurance company, the buyer, the seller, the mortgage lender and any other providers related to a real estate transaction. The title company also files and records paperwork, as well as facilitate closings. As is the case with Frontier, a title company’s main concern is to ensure that each of the steps in the process be as smooth and efficient as possible, always paying close attention to all the details throughout the entirety of every client’s transaction. In fact, Frontier is so committed to making sure their clients’ needs are met that they have adopted the motto, “We don’t work 8-5, we work start to finish.” As Lynn Bradshaw, Director of Business Development for Frontier Title, explains, “Title companies all have mandated rates. If we all have the same rates and we all provide the same process during a home purchase or sale, we have to make sure that we are providing the absolute best customer service in order to set ourselves apart from other title companies.”
Title and Escrow
During the duration of the real estate transaction, title companies also commonly act as escrow officers in connection with real estate transactions. An escrow officer holds documents or money as a part of the transaction. For example, the homebuyer will give the title company the money necessary to pay the purchase price, while the seller will give the title company a signed deed to the property. The title company, acting as escrow officer, only releases the deed and the money according to the written instructions of the buyer and seller.
Title Companies and Closings
Finally, title companies act as the closing agent for real estate transactions. This means the title company is an agent of each party to the transaction. In its role as agent, the title company obtains signatures on all of closing documents (prepared by an attorney), and also receives and distributes payments related to the transaction. After the parties have signed all the documents, the title company will record documents that need to be recorded, such as deeds and mortgages, in the local county. As part of the process, the title company will facilitate the process of paying off old mortgages. Old mortgage payment funds are escrowed at the closing, and then paid on behalf of the client. That old mortgage is then 'released' and recorded in city hall as paid in full. Experienced by many KW agents, Frontier’s unrivaled dedication to the customer, along with their dedication to providing the smoothest closing possible, has helped them develop a powerful reputation for quality service among builders, lenders, realtors, buyers and sellers. “A client knows we will do whatever it takes to get their transaction closed,” says Bradshaw. “Whether we travel to them at their home or do a closing at midnight, we always work around people’s circumstances.” Bradshaw also mentions the importance of understanding the sheer emotion that takes place at a closing. “We have been at closings where we brought a box of Kleenex to a home because the seller was so emotionally attached to it,” she recalls. “A closing could be the happiest day of someone’s life, or the saddest day of someone’s life. We understand this and we feel responsible to provide more than just a transaction.”
A title company will quite possibly alleviate many headaches in the long run, while keeping buyers and sellers out of trouble with their expertise and guidance. And, while Frontier Title professionals are committed to providing clients with the highest level of security and satisfaction in the title insurance industry, not all title companies are created equal. Given this notion, one may be treading thin ice by venturing into major real estate deals without the backup of a knowledgeable and professional title company to help them through the process.
About Frontier Title
Established by two real estate law experts in 2006, Frontier Title employs an expert team of experienced title and closing professionals who are known for providing quality service to their customers. In addition to building a secure investment, Frontier understands that their job is to build a relationship with their clients and know their needs as they change. Frontier Title handles thousands of transactions each year and combines their employees’ vast knowledge of real estate with their unparalleled customer service to ensure that their clients have the most pleasant experience possible, and leave perfectly confident in their transaction. Offering personal service, continuity, and the confidence in their professional expertise, Frontier trusts that writing one transaction will result in the privilege of doing business with clients for many years to come. To learn more about Frontier Title, visit www.FrontierTitleTexas.com.