You’ll make a lot of decisions when you buy a house, and you’ll need the help of several professionals to make those decisions. One of the most important choices you’ll make is which title company, or closing company, you will select. Why does this matter?
Your closing company will handle the sale through closing, keeping escrow accounts for the funding you need to buy the house and organizing the paperwork and people important to your transaction. The title company will also perform a title search on the property and issue your title insurance policy.
The importance of these tasks means that it matters who you pick.
Federal law allows homebuyers to choose their own title company. You may get recommendations from your real estate agent or your lender, but the final decision lies with you. What should you look for? When you interview title companies, consider these four qualities.
Who is the company’s client? The answer should be “you.” You – and your interests – should be at the top of the company’s list as they work for you. If the answer is the brokerage or the lender, you should move on.
Companies that have been in business for a long time have proven that they can successfully handle a real estate transaction. They’ve seen it all and have worked on hundreds or thousands of transactions.
A company that has been in business for many years has also proven that it can manage money — yours in escrow as well as its own budget. Companies who handle money poorly don’t stay in business long.
What do past clients have to say about the title company? Do you know friends or family who have used the company? Get their assessment of how smoothly the transaction went and how the title company handled bumps in the road.
You should also check with the Better Business Bureau to see whether any complaints have been filed against the company. Ask the company how many claims have been made against the title insurance policies it has issued. That number should be small – ideally, zero.
If the customer is the title company’s focus, they will be available to you when you have a question. You want someone who will guide you through the process and answer any question you have, even the ones you think are silly.
Foote Title Group is proud to have more than 30 years of experience working with homebuyers in Southern Maryland and 11 years serving the Northern Neck of Virginia. We’d love to tell you about our services and how we can work for you. Contact us today!