With all the stress of purchasing or refinancing a home, title insurance is often a low priority. However, it is an important aspect of a smooth closing process so knowing what to expect will ensure that things go according to plan. Learn more about title insurance in Maryland and 5 things to think about when choosing a title insurance company in this week’s blog.
3 Tips on Choosing Title Insurance in Maryland
Title insurance is a 2-part process. The first step is for the title company to research the title of the home and ensure that the homeowner truly does own the home, free and clear of any liens, undisclosed heirs, and other issues that would hold up the closing process. Surprisingly, during this process 1/3rd of all transactions reveal a problem that must be fixed before closing, such as a defect in the public record. The second step of the process is an insurance policy that is put into place in order to pay for legal fees in the case that anyone challenges your title. This actually requires 2 separate policies, one to insure the buyer and one to insure the lender. When choosing a title company, keep these tips in mind.
Find out if prices are regulated
In general, prices are regulated so there won’t be a very big difference in cost. But in areas where it is unregulated then you can see a difference of 20% or more in price so it will pay to shop around. In addition to the actual cost of the title insurance, incidental expenses such as courier fees and wire transfers can add up quickly so when comparing companies be sure to ask about the cost of the entire transaction rather than just the insurance.
Look into their track record
Ideally you want to work with a title company that has an established reputation and that will be there in 10 or 20 years if any problems with your title arises. You’ll also want to find a company that will do a thorough title search so often times word-of-mouth recommendations are a great place to start.
Ask who pays
The laws regarding who pays for the buyer’s and lender’s insurance policies varies so be sure to look in the specific regulations in your area. These regulations can sometimes even vary between counties so it is important to be sure to research what will apply to your specific situation. Sometimes the buyer will pay for one policy and the seller the other but these terms are often negotiable. Buying both policies from the same company can often result in a significant discount.
Title Services from Colony Title Associates
Colony Title has been in business since 1995 and handles more than 2,000 real estate closings per year. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a representative about closing, please give us a call at 410-884-1160 or visit our website for more information.