How to choose real estate title company in south florida

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Whether you’re a newbie or an established real estate agent in South Florida, working with a top-rated title company increases your chances of success in your career. Having a clear title is crucial to any real estate transaction. It may be hard for either a buyer or seller to understand what exactly the title is and how it affects real estate transactions. It is the job of the Realtor to provide adequate information for them and to guide them through the transaction. With this in mind, let’s talk about the importance of choosing the right title company and what exactly you should consider when doing this.

What is Title Insurance?

In case a claim is made against property in Florida, it is the title insurance, in accordance with the terms of the policy, that assures a legal defense as well as for settling all court costs and related fees. Also, if the claim is valid, you’ll be compensated for every loss as stipulated in the policy.

What is the cost of title insurance in South Florida?

It is imperative for every Realtor to understand that the cost of title insurance varies in different counties, according to the purchase price of each property. Unlike other insurance policies that must be paid annually, title insurance is paid only at settlement.

Florida’s title insurance premium is based on a promulgated rate, determined by the State of Florida.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development offers free tool- Good Fate Estimate (GFE) which may help you estimate your charges and loan terms.

Why is it so important to choose a title company?

Normally, buyers and sellers consult their real estate agents or lenders to assist them in choosing a title agent, as they might have possibly developed a relationship with a title company they know or trust from the past.

Choosing a trustworthy, responsible and reputable title agent is important for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, they’ll be coordinating one of the largest purchases of your life. If they don’t have solid processes or technology in place that enables them to avoid mistakes, your closing can be delayed or even worse, your purchase may not be done correctly, which would impact your legal rights to the property.

In extreme cases, where title agents also manage the disbursement of funds, issues can arise due to mistakes or fraud and the funds could be put at risk. For example, according to the FBI, over $1 billion was diverted or attempted to be diverted from real estate transactions in 2017 across the US. These attempts often come through Business Email Compromise scams, where a hacker defrauds the transaction parties through email. A good title agent will use a secure communications platform that avoids relying heavily on insecure email communications.

Who’s Responsible for Paying Title Insurance at Closing in South Florida?

In Florida, the person responsible for paying title varies per county and can be negotiated in the contract. In most counties, the seller generally pays for the title insurance and chooses the title company.

However, the buyer generally pays for title insurance and chooses the title company in the following counties:

Just as title and closing costs are paid by different parties, costs are generally negotiable and are most at times decided upon by the specific contract.

Broward County Real Estate Title cost
In Broward County FL. the buyer generally pays for title insurance and chooses the title company

Who’s responsible for choosing the title company in South Florida?

Buyers and sellers are most likely to have the same ideas when it comes to choosing a title insurance company. While most real estate agents and lenders are likely to have an existing relationship with a specific title company they’d love to work within case of any transaction. What most people fail to realize is that a title company can greatly impact the closing process of a transaction. Working with the right company for your title search can lead to:

  • A stress-free closing experience
  • Closing on-time without delays
  • Not having any title issues after closing
  • More affordable title insurance and closing costs
  • Peace of mind that your home will be secure for years to come

Can a seller require the buyer to use a particular Title Insurance?

The answer is no. Section 9 of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act or RESPA “prohibits a seller from requiring the home buyer to use a particular title insurance company, either directly or indirectly, as a condition of sale. Buyers may sue a seller who violates this provision for an amount equal to three times all charges made for the title insurance.” To read more, click here.

Things Real Estate Agents should consider when searching for a Title Company in South Florida:

Whether you are located in Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach or Davie, there are many Title companies to choose from. When selecting the best Title Company in South Florida, you should take into consideration the points below.

You can also make sure any title agency you are considering is licensed. You can check by visiting the Department of Financial Services’ website at, or by calling the Department of Financial Services’ Insurance Consumer Helpline toll-free at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236). If you need the assistance of an attorney, contact the Florida Bar Association at (800) 342-8060 or to determine if the attorney is a member.

  1. Company: Some Title entities are basically practicing as an “in-house” Title “department” inside a real estate company or as a “joint venture” title company which is working with a particular real estate company, lender or home builder. Yes, the parent company may benefit from this form of establishment as this may lead to higher efficiency and there is also a room created for price evaluation. However, in most cases, a consumer may be subjected to more fees to such an entity and may end up being disappointed with the outcome. As a real estate agent, you have a job to help your clients find a friendly title company for their properties.
  1. Services: It doesn’t matter if you are a buyer, a seller, a lender or a real estate agent, choosing the right Title Company is choosing peace of mind during your real estate transaction. You want to make sure that you put your trust with title professionals. We can’t stress enough the importance of some elements in the Title service that you are about to receive. First, you want it to be fast, yet thorough. Then, it would be smart to choose a title company with a large network of insurance underwriters as you are also seeking to get your home insurance approved, and by that to rest assure that the home is clean from liens, tax debts, or any other event in its history that you want to avoid affecting your ownership. Communication also plays an important role as realtors and customers expecting to be notified and ongoingly updated with the closing and insurance process. Schedule an appointment with several title firms before you choose one, make sure you ask the right questions, read online reviews and make the right decision. To schedule an appointment with Florida Title Center, click HERE
  1. Fees: Florida Department of Insurance regulates Title Insurance fees.
    US Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a free tool (Good Faith Estimate- GFE) which can give you the estimate of your settlement charges and loan terms.
    Additional fees charged by title companies often can create a significant difference from one company to the next. In addition to title and endorsement fees, recording, conveyance, release tracking, courier, overnight delivery fees, wire fees, electronic document fees, mobile notary fees, document prep fees, etc. Some very unusual work fees may apply in the process.
  1. Experience: Has the title agent or company you’re planning to hire been in the service for more than 10 years or so? Is the title Company an Attorney title Company or a non-attorney title company? Some inexperienced title agents are likely to come from non-attorney based firms and may not be well versed in all forms of real estate transactions. No matter what it is, whether it is a commercial deal, a short sale, refinance, 1031 exchange bank owned, REO, Seller Financed, Installment Sale, assumptions and wraps? Do they just work with one specialty, more importantly? Is it the specialty you are looking to hire them for? Always remember, their experience will determine the outcome of every transaction you work on as a real estate agent.
  1. Communication: How does your escrow officer or title agent communicate? Phone, email, face to face, text, fax, or all the above? It doesn’t help to have an escrow officer that only communicates via phone if you prefer email or even text. Work with a title company that allows different ways of communicating.
  1. Financial Strength: Remember your chosen title company will essentially place the transaction with an actual insurer. The agent-based in the area where the property is based in is probably just an agent for the insurer. While other title companies have been in existence for hundreds of years some are just newbies in the business. The title company has a job to facilitate your escrow and provide title insurance for the most valuable assets. Will your chosen title company still be around in a few years to pay to claim that an escrow officer with no experience and poor communication skills messed up?  Ask the question, who is this being placed with?  After considering all these, go out to continue your search.

What are some signs of a good title agent?

A good title agent does two things well: They coordinate the transaction efficiently and they provide remarkable customer service.

There has been heavy investment in technology for lenders and real estate agents for years. However, until recently, there has not been much attention paid to technology that supports the title agents and buyers’ closing experience. By leveraging modern, cloud-based technology title agents have become much more efficient.

Those that have switched to modern technology can easily and securely communicate with their clients, keep them updated in real-time about the status of their closing, and avoid unnecessary errors that happen all too frequently when their internal processes are overly burdensome.

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