Title Search

Frequently asked questions & answers

A title search looks for mortgage, judgments and liens that are appearing on public records against a specific real estate property.

When you are buying any real estate, including a house, land or commercial property in Florida, you buy everything that comes with it, including the building structure or house, improvements such as a fence, additions, landscaping, and even the well and sewer system. When you buy a condominium, you buy into the interest in the building and you have a share in the common areas along with owning your own particular unit. When a seller is transferring ownership of property to another person the seller needs to ensure that the buyer is getting the property free of encumbrances and liens and expects to receive clear title to the property he or she is purchasing. A title search will reveal problems that the buyer will need to be made aware of including but not limited to:

Fraud & forgery

Conflicting wills

Missing heirs

Incorrectly executed deeds by minors, corporations, heirs or non-entities

The seller has fraudulently sold the property to another recent buyer

A prior seller has fraudulently sold the property to more than one buyer

The seller purchased the property while committing mortgage fraud

The boundaries may be incorrect, and part of the property may be owned by an adjacent neighboring property owner

There may be an easement burdening the property which limits the uses and thereby decreases the value of the property

Structures on the property may encroach onto valid easements or an adjacent property

There may be an older unrecorded deed transferring the property which is now recorded

The seller or prior seller may have outstanding personal judgments which could attach to the property

Foreclosure sale issues

The title company handles the title search and escrow aspects of the transaction. They coordinate and act as the center point for the closing for buyers, sellers, lenders, realtors and third parties such as surveyors, insurance companies, and inspectors. Prior to closing, they put together all the pieces of the puzzle with the primary objective being to clear title and make sure all judgments, liens, and encumbrances are satisfied at closing. The title company also prepares all closing documents including the CD 1 (closing disclosure statement), loan documents, and any other legal documents related to the closing. Finally, buyers and sellers usually gather at the title company’s office to sign and notarize all their documents.

You would need to contact Property Management company and inquire about their procedures. The fee associated with this service is usually $150-$450 per “estoppel letter” but fee and turnaround time varies by association.
An escrow agent holds funds “in trust” for a transaction. The funds can be held for a buyer, a seller or a lender. Escrow agents are required to be bonded and insured in most states. Verify your escrow agent’s licensing credentials in your state before giving them any funds.
Buyers and sellers each have separate closing costs related to their transaction. The contract language customarily determines who pays for what costs such as title insurance, lien search, title search and deed taxes on the sale. Buyers customarily pay for their loan related expenses except for some VA or FHA loans. Different counties within the state usually have established “customs” for cost allocations, but buyers and sellers should not assume anything and carefully read the contract.
Settlement charges are all the closing costs you will have for your closing and will be itemized on the Closing Disclosure early in the loan process and then again three days before closing as per law.
A Truth-in-Lending Disclosure Statement provides information about the costs of your credit. Effective October 3, 2015, for most kinds of mortgage loans a new form called the Loan Estimate replaces the initial Truth-in-Lending disclosure, and a Closing Disclosure replaces the final Truth-in-Lending disclosure.
When you purchase your home, how can you be sure that there are no problems with the home’s title and that the seller really owns the property? Problems with the title can limit your use and enjoyment of the property, as well as bring financial loss. A title search and the one-time expense of title insurance prevents these issues.
Not normally. Any licensed title agency is permitted to close and issue Florida Title insurance in the State of Florida. But our company is owned and operated by an attorney, so you get the benefit of legal oversight of your file at no additional charge. Some states are known as “attorney states” and do require all real estate transactions to be closed by an attorney. Check your state’s laws.
No, not unless you reach a separate agreement with an attorney for additional services such as a corporate formation or other legal matters you need assistance with.
The title due diligence takes about an average of 7-10 business days. However, closings can be expedited if all parties cooperate. The average closing takes about 30-45 calendar days due to loan approval timelines. Your contract will specify your closing deadlines.
The closing will be scheduled by the title company in coordination with your lender, if applicable.
Customarily, all the fees and title insurance are paid at the closing.
A Closing Disclosure (also known as a “CD”) is a standard, government-regulated form that was implemented on 10/1/15 and is used to explain to buyers, borrowers, and sellers all the financial details of their transaction. A CD itemizes every single financial item in a transaction such as sales price, loan amount, seller credits, prorated property taxes, realtor commission, loan fees, points, closing costs, title insurance fees, HOA dues paid, etc. The CD is strictly regulated by the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
This is now the same as the Closing Disclosure. It itemizes all the closing costs for a buyer/borrower.
The HUD was the closing form formerly used on loan transactions prior to 10/1/15. The HUD was replaced by the Closing Disclosure and is now primarily used for commercial, cash or private loan closings.
GFE is often used to describe the loan estimate a lender will provide you when you request a quote for your loan which will often include all your customary closing costs including loan, title and recording charges.
A survey establishes the property boundaries (shape and size) of the property you intend to purchase, it reveals encroachments and easements on the property (if any exist) and it also provides information on the access to your property (i.e. driveway). A survey is certified to the buyer, the title company, and the lender (when applicable). If you waive your right to a survey (option for cash buyers only), you have no recourse against the title insurance for survey matters.
The borrower/owner does not actually need title insurance, but the lender who is giving the new loan, does want their loan secured through what is known as “lender’s title insurance.” A borrower who already paid for an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy when they purchased the property is entitled by law to what is commonly referred to as a “reissue rate” or “reissue credit.” At Consumers First Title we also offer substitution rate refinancing, which in many cases offers an even greater discount.

Yes, unlike homeowners or flood insurance this is a one-time expense and protects your title to the house for as long as you own the house. However, if you transfer your original interest in the property via a Quit Claim Deed, the policy will be null and void.

Florida title insurance rates are set by the Florida Department of Insurance. A Florida title insurance owner’s policy and a Florida title insurance mortgagee policy are generally issued simultaneously, with the policy of lesser value having only a nominal premium rate. The scale of Florida title insurance rate premiums is as follows based on the insurance amount:

Up to $100,000.00 a rate of $5.57 per $1,000.00 of insurance;

Over $100,000.00 up to $1 Million a rate of $5.00 per $1,000.00 of insurance;

Over $1 Million up to $5 Million, a rate of $2.50 per $1,000.00 of insurance;

Over $5 Million up to $10 Million, a rate of $2.25 per $1,000.00 of insurance;

Over $10 Million, a rate of 2.00 per $1,000.00 of insurance.

About 30-60 days after closing depending on how long the county’s recording clerk takes to register the documents.
FIRPTA stands for the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. Foreign national sellers have specific requirements that apply to them when selling US real property. If a seller is not a USA citizen or resident, FIRPTA requires a prepayment to the Internal Revenue Service of a withholding tax on the real property. The amount required to be collected at closing is calculated as a percentage. Generally, 15% of the gross sales price must be withheld and remitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) within 21 days of closing unless certain conditions apply.

More questions?

Please contact info@theclosingcompany.net or 305-271-0100 x701