Did you know that federal law gives homebuyers the right to choose their own title company?
Among other things, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act allows homebuyers to work with a title company of their choosing rather than being forced to use one recommended by their real estate agent or lender. Your agent and lender can still make recommendations, and you should ask for them, but you are in no way obligated to work with those companies.
Why is it important to choose your own title company? Buying a house is a complicated transaction, and there are a lot of players who have something to gain from your purchase. Selecting a title company ensures that you have someone in your court throughout the process that doesn’t stand to gain from the transaction.
Once you have a list of title companies you’d like to interview, it’s time to start researching each. Call them, and ask these three important questions:
- Who is your customer? The answer should be “you.”
- Will you disclose and discuss the results of the title search with me? The answer should be “yes.”
- What measures do you take to ensure my escrow money is safe? Look for internal controls and safeguards that protect your money.
What else should you look for in a title company? You’ll want to find out a few more things about each company before you make your decision:
- How long have they been in business? Established companies have a lot of experience, have seen many types of transactions and problems, and is less likely to have money problems that could force them out of business.
- Has the company had many claims against the title insurance it issues? A low number of claims means the title searches the company conducts are thorough and that they are good at resolving any issues they find.
- Is the company responsive? You want a title company that answers your phone calls and emails in a timely and manner and is happy to answer your questions – no matter how many you have.
At Foote Title Group, we have more than 30 years of experience handling real estate transactions in Maryland and Virginia. We’d be happy to answer these questions – and anything else you’d like to ask about our experience, procedures, and philosophy! Contact us today.