How to Choose a Reliable Title Company

By: Shane Smith


Buying a home can be stressful for home buyers. A first-time buyer can find the process especially painful. A title company will help the buyer and other parties involved in the transaction to navigate the complexities of title transfer. They'll not only conduct the title search that reveals liens, judgments and other possible claims against the property; they'll handle the collection and disbursement of the funds involved in the transaction. They'll also issue title insurance to the buyer and mortgage lender to protect their respective interests. Below, you'll learn the critical factors you need to consider when choosing a reliable title company.

Experience Matters

Ideally, you want to work with a title company that has plenty of experience in providing the services you need. Look for a title company that has an extensive background in doing title searches for residential properties. New title companies may charge lower fees, but their relative inexperience may end up costing you far more money than you would save. Also, if a company you're considering conducts a substantial volume of business, check to see how many people they employ. You want to ensure that your transaction receives the attention it deserves.

Searching For A Reputation

One of the best ways to find a reliable title company is to ask others in your community about their experiences. They'll be able to tell you if a particular company was proactive in returning calls, taking action and getting things done quickly or if they dragged their feet. Reputation is valuable. If enough people in your community had a great experience with a specific title company, you can be confident that your needs will be handled professionally.

Good Communication Is A Must

From the moment you decide to buy a house until the day you sign the final documents, you'll be working closely with your title company. In fact, it's not unusual to speak with them each day during the entire process. They should return your calls promptly. If there are any issues with documents that need to be resolved, they should be proactive in calling you to discuss them. A title company that communicates well with all parties involved can help move the process along smoothly. Poor communication often impedes the process and can be frustrating for everyone.

Looking At Financial Strength

Ultimately, the true value of a title company is largely based upon its ability to protect your financial investment against claims of ownership on the property you're buying. If such claims emerge, your title company must have the financial resources to pay the legal expenses that may result as well as possible settlements against the claim. If they lack those resources, your investment may be forfeit despite having title insurance. Look for a title company that works with a reliable underwriter.

Value Trumps Price

There are several fees involved when you hire a title company. These fees can vary depending upon the company you hire. Your first instinct may be to follow the lowest fees. After all, if you can minimize how much you pay for title searches, courier fees and other expenses, the savings go straight to your bottom line. However, remember that low fees can be an indication of inexperience. Try to hire a title company that offers significant value for the fees they charge. In the end, saving a few dollars in lower fees may cost you thousands in the long-run.

Choosing a reliable title company is simple. Look for a company with plenty of experience, a great reputation in your community, proactive communication and a stable financial history. If you're working with a real estate agent or lender, ask for their suggestions regarding which company to use. They likely have worked with several companies and can offer a recommendation. The right title company can offer value that is far beyond the fees they'll charge.

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