Real Estate Title Company Basics: Four Things to Look For

Have questions about where the real estate title company fits into the homeownership process? We understand completely. The route one must take to buy a home is a long and a winding one – and the role estate title company plays a role that often gets misunderstood (but always vital).

If you’re one of the many home buyers looking to quickly close on your transaction and get into your new home, an effective real estate title company is a crucial component of the process. So, what should someone look for in a real estate title company? In this blog, we’ll outline just what a real estate title company does, and what you should look for when it comes time to find one.

What is a Real Estate Title Company?

Before we dive into the things to look for in a real estate title company, let’s first deal with one of the most important questions out there: what exactly is a real estate title company?

When the time comes for someone to sell the property – and they find a buyer that agrees on the price – there is a lengthy process to get the sale finalized. Along with all of the closing costs that a closing agent might help you with is the price for something called a “title search.” This is an essential part of any homeownership process.

What a title search does is go through the history of the property that is up for sale, making sure that the owner of the property actually has the legal right to sell the property. The title search goes through every legal document, every property survey, every record of property taxes, and everything else related to the history of the property to make sure that the buyer can purchase it and the seller can sell it.

While that might seem like a cut-and-dried scenario, there are plenty of elements that can disrupt the process. Unpaid taxes, liens, and other debts might pop up. Forgeries and impersonations in the past history could rear their ugly heads. There may be property co-owners that could try to stake their claim in the sale. Errors in the public record or other legal documents down the line could also disrupt the process. All of those different options could prove fatal to a “clean” real estate transaction.

The job of a real estate title company? They’re the ones that do the search through all of those records (after all, you don’t want to have to be the one picking through every legal document out there) in order to find out the history of the property and the house. They’ll provide the report of their findings at the end of the research; in some cases, they might even serve as the escrow officer or closing agent on the property.

Note that the real estate title company is not the one that issues title insurance. Title insurance protection gets purchased by the mortgage lender, mortgage company, or buyer from a separate entity.

What to Look For in a Real Estate Title Company

So, what should you look for when it comes to a title company? When you seek out the right title company, make sure they:

  1. Can provide more than just the real estate title search. As stated before, some real estate title companies can do much more than just search the history of your home. Some of the most accomplished real estate title companies can take care of the escrow accounts (and serve as the escrow officer) or serve as the closing agent on your property. Having this process all wrapped up into one entity can potentially save you a lot of headaches – and even some bottom-line dollars – as you finish off the homeownership process.
  2. Have the trusted references that you can rely on. Choosing the right real estate title company should be just like selecting other contractors or important services. Be sure to do your research! Go ahead and ask around to people that have recently finished off their own homeownership processes. See what they say about their experiences with the title company. More likely than not, you’ll find some of the best recommendations that way. Along with that, do your online research. What kinds of things are people saying about the company? What sort of things can you expect? Treat it as you would when it comes to trying to find a handyman, house painter, or another kind of home service.
  3. Look for the companies that will do the most thorough search on your house’s history. Go into the process armed with information. The best thing you can do is know what a real estate title company does (if you’re reading this blog, you’re off to a great start) and ask the right questions when it comes to the research process. Are they going to look for forgeries and errors in the chain history? Are they seeking out heirs or unexpected family members that might have a claim to the property? Are they exploring the borders of the property and making sure everything is clear? Ask all of those questions to the service before you make your decision.
  4. Go for the one you feel most comfortable with. The bottom line when it comes to finding a title search company? Find the service that you are comfortable with. Talk to the people involved with putting together your real estate title search. Gauge their professionalism, competency, and street smarts. Once you feel you’ve determined a comfortable partner in the process, go with them! Make sure you’re completely satisfied with your relationship before you commit; this is a critical part of homeownership. A good partnership with a real estate title company is integral.

How LemonBrew Can Help

Still have questions about the process of finding the right real estate title company? If so, it’s time to check out our LemonBrew Abstract site. With LemonBrew Abstract, you get the innovative title and escrow services to make your homeownership title insurance process as easy as possible. It’s a key tool for both buyer and seller to get the information they need to succeed!

One last thing that LemonBrew can help with! If you’re looking for more information on real estate title company basics – or anything else involving title insurance protection, lender’s title insurance, or real estate transactions in general – be sure to check out our engaging LemonBrew blog. The LemonBrew blog is the place for go for home buyers, real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and anyone else interested in the industry to get the information they need. Explore our many in-depth feature pieces, including “9 Negotiation Tactics When Buying a Home,” “7 Myths About the Mortgage Loan Process,” and “Title Insurance vs House Insurance: Do you need both?”

Also – be sure to check out everything LemonBrew can offer on the LemonBrew website. From matching with a real estate agent to lending to title insurance, we can help with everything you need to know involving real estate. Check us out right here.