Title FAQ's!

  • Title Insurance is protection for both owners and lenders against possible financial loss due to an unknown defect in title on your property. It is protection from possible hidden risks such as mistakes in recording legal documents, fraud, missing heirs, etc. Title insurance is a required, one time fee for real estate purchases obtained by a mortgage and mortgage refinances. Title insurance is not required on all cash purchases.

  • A Title Commitment is the result of a title search of the public records. It is a summary of pertinent information discovered in the search process, which is used as the basis for clearing title. It is written in anticipation of a future Title Insurance Policy.

  • The Enhanced Policy provides additional coverage beyond the Standard. The Enhanced Policy covers all title defects that the Standard covers, plus additional defects that may occur. See chart below. The cost of an Enhanced Policy is 10% more than a Standard Policy.

  • In Pennsylvania, the homeowner/borrower has the right to choose the title company.

  • The title agent’s role is to seamlessly put together all the pieces of the puzzle. They have a responsibility to all parties involved to create a smooth and easy settlement. The title agent reviews the title commitment to make sure all requirements have been met in order to issue a final title policy. They review the lender closing instructions and obtain any items needed for the lender. They obtain from the realtors any certifications or copies of bills to be included on the settlement sheet. They check documents for accuracy and review the documents with the buyers and sellers. And finally, the title agent is also responsible for the preparation and accuracy of the final settlement sheet and for the disbursement of funds.

  • Regardless of your role in the transaction, Realtor, Lender, Buyer, Seller, Attorney or Homeowner, Communication is Key to a smooth stress free settlement. If you are aware of any of the following, please let your title company know as far in advance as possible.
     Are any of the owners of record/sellers deceased?
     Will any of the owners of record/sellers be using a Power of Attorney?
     Are the sellers planning on attending settlement or will they sign in advance of closing?
     Will the seller’s be represented by an Attorney?
     Is this a short sale?
     Is there a relocation company involved?
     Are there any divorces finalized or pending between sellers?
     Are there any outstanding support obligations owed by buyer/seller?
     Are there any tax liens, judgments or pending lawsuits against the buyer/seller?
     Have any parties to the transaction been declared incompetent and/or have a legal guardian or trustee appointed for them?
     Are any parties to the transaction a minor?
     Are any of the buyers/sellers not planning on attending closing?
     Are any of the buyers/sellers separated or a party to a pending divorce?
     Will the buyer’s loan officer be present at closing to review the mortgage documents?
     Do any parties to the transaction have special needs for closing? (i.e. handicap accessible, food allergies, pets or children that will be present?)


  • What do I need to bring to closing?

    BUYER:
    Included below are the most common items a buyer is asked to bring to settlement. 
    You may be asked to bring additional items by your realtor, lender or title company.

    Photo Identification:  One form of government issued photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport.

    Homeowners Insurance Policy: With a paid receipt or a bill to pay at closing.

    Certified Funds, Bank/Cashiers Check or Electronic WireBuyers must have their checks made payable to the title company.  Checks must be a certified check or a bank/cashiers check.  The buyer may also wire their funds directly to the title company.  Please contact our office for specific wiring instructions.

    SELLER:
    Included below are the most common items a seller is asked to bring to settlement. 
    You may be asked to bring additional items by your realtor or title company.

    Photo IdentificationOne form of government issued photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport.

    Keys and Garage Door OpenersRemember to ask family, friends and neighbors to return any keys and garage door openers.

    Alarm company name, phone number and codesIf you have an alarm company.

    Certified Funds, Bank/Cashiers Check or Electronic WireIf the seller is expected to bring money to the table due to a short sale, they should have their checks made payable to the title company.  Checks must be a certified check or a bank/cashiers check.  The seller may also wire their funds directly to the title company.  Please contact our office for specific wiring instructions.

     

  • At the time of the settlement, a buyer will be signing mortgage papers as well as a few papers for the title company. Buyer’s should request that their lender be present to review the mortgage documents.

  • As a seller you will only have a few papers to sign.

  • The Buyer’s realtor will make sure all terms in the agreement of sale have been satisfied. This includes, but is not limited to, making sure all Use and Occupancy certificates, test results, and other certification have been provided to and reviewed by the buyer. They also provide the title agent with any items that need to be put on the settlement sheet and review the settlement sheet to check for accuracy prior to reviewing it with the client. It is the Realtor's responsibility to make sure the commission amounts and any monies owed them are accurate. The Seller’s realtor will make sure all terms in the agreement of sale have been satisfied. They provide the title agent with any bills, adjustments, etc. that need to be put on the settlement sheet. They provide the buyer and buyer’s realtor with copies of any certifications, test results, etc. They usually bring to the settlement the buyers’ escrow money. They also review the settlement sheet to check for accuracy prior to reviewing it with the client.

  • The buyer should insist at the time of their mortgage application that the lender will have a representative present at settlement. During the settlement, the lender should review all mortgage papers with the buyer and resolve any questions that may occur in regards to the financing terms.

  • A settlement should take approximately one hour if the buyer is signing mortgage papers. If it is a cash transaction, the settlement may be less than 30 minutes. Even though a typical settlement runs about an hour, we recommend that all parties allot an hour and a half for settlement. This will eliminate a lot of stress the day of closing should a delay arise.

  • Settlement is typically held at the offices of the title insurance agent. This is a recommended practice since the title company is responsible for preparing and downloading mortgage documents, making any last minute changes to the HUD, verifying all monies have been wired into their accounts and scanning documents back to the lender for final disbursement approvals. Please note an additional charge may be made for closings not held in the title company office.

  • For a PURCHASE: Buyers, Buyer’s Realtor, Sellers, Seller’s Realtor, Title Agent, Buyer’s Representative from the mortgage company and possibly an Attorney, should either the buyer or seller require one. It is not uncommon for the seller to execute their documents in advance of settlement and not be in attendance at the closing. However, the title company may ask the seller if he or she is not attending closing to be available by phone, email or fax.
    For a REFINANCE: Home Owner/Borrower, Title Agent and possibly a mortgage company representative

  • Compare Enhanced Policy* to Standard Policy**

    Enhanced Homeowner’s Policy

    Standard Homeowner’s Policy

    PROTECTION FROM

    1

    Someone else who owns an interest in your title

    X

    X

    2

    A document that is not properly signed

    X

    X

    3

    Forgery, fraud, duress in the chain of title

    X

    X

    4

    Defective recording of any document

    X

    X

    5

    Restrictive covenants

    X

    X

    6

    A lien on your title because there is:

     

     

     

    a) a mortgage (#)

    X

    X

     

    b) a judgement, tax, or special assessment (#)

    X

    X

     

    c) a charge by a homeowners' association (#)

    X

    X

    7

    Title is unmarketable

    X

    X

    8

    Cannot use the land for a Single-Family Residence because the use violates a restriction in Schedule B or a zoning ordinance (#)

    X

    X

    9

    Unrecorded lien by a homeowners' association

    X

    X

    10

    Unrecorded easements (#)

    X

    X

    11

    Building permit violations (†)

    X

     

    12

    Restrictive covenants violations

    X

    X

    13

    Covenant violation resulting in your title reverting to a previous owner

    X

    X

    14

    Rights under unrecorded leases (#)

    X

    X

    15

    Boundary wall or fence encroachment (†)

    X

    X

    16

    Forced removal of a structure because it:

     

     

     

    a) extends on another property and/or easement

    X

    X

     

    b) violates a restriction in Schedule B

    X

    X

     

    c) violates an existing zoning law

    X

     

    17

    Violation of building setback regulations

    X

     

    18

    Lack of vehicular and pedestrian access

    X

     

    19

    Post-policy forgery

    X

     

    20

    Post-policy encroachment

    X

     

    21

    Post-policy damage from extraction of minerals or water

    X

     

    22

    Post-policy adverse possession

    X

     

    23

    Post-policy cloud on title

    X

     

    24

    Post-policy prescriptive easement

    X

     

    OTHER BENEFITS:

    25

    Pays rent for substitute land or facilities

    X

     

    26

    Insurance coverage for a lifetime

    X

     

    27

    Post-policy inflation coverage with an automatic increase in value up to 150% over 5 years

    X

     

    TYPES OF PROPERTIES COVERED

     

    Residential properties (1-4 Family)

    X

    X

     

    Vacant land

     

    X

     

    Commercial properties

     

    X




    June 2011 - Pennsylvania

    * ALTA Homeowner's Policy of Title Insurance (For a One-To-Four Family Residence) (02/03/10)

    ** ALTA Owner's Policy of Title Insurance (06/17/06) as modified by TIRBOP



    # Unless listed as an exception to coverage in Schedule B of the policy



    If covered by the enhanced policy, it is subject to a deductible and a maximum liability amount which may be less than the policy amount








    Coverage may vary based on an individual policy...







    Summit Land Transfer makes no express or implied warranty respecting the information presented and assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions...