The settlement of a real estate transaction involves the investigation made or actions taken by a title agent or title attorney before they issue the title policy to the homeowner. The process can sound daunting, but really there are just six basic steps. In its simplest form, the following six steps comprise a real estate settlement.
Create a Settlement Order
The process of a real estate settlement begins with a title request from a lender or a ratified contract from a buyer.
Process the Title Components
Then, the title company orders the necessary components for the real estate settlement. These components include a title search, tax information, loan payoffs, homeowner or maintenance fees, judgment search, and a survey if necessary.
Conduct a Title Search
Next, the title company conducts an extensive search of public records to determine if there are any possible title defects. The public records researched include deeds, mortgages, plats, covenants, rights of way, and judgment searches.
Conduct a Title Examination
Once the public records are researched, the title company scrutinizes these documents. Any documents found during the search that may affect the title to the property are thoroughly examined, and verification of the legal owner and debts owed against the property will be determined.
Finally, once a title search has been conducted and any defects have been resolved, the title agent can prepare the necessary settlement documents. The agent will review loan documents, lender instructions, and requirements, and other instructions from parties to the transaction. The closing statements are then prepared, and the closing date is set.
The Real Estate Settlement Appointment
Finally, the licensed settlement agent or attorney will handle all aspects of the closing transaction. The seller will sign the deed, the buyer signs the new mortgage, the old loan is paid off, and the new mortgage is signed. The last step in the settlement process is recording the documents in the county in which the property is located. Then, the property owner is equipped with the assurance that they are in possession of the property title.
A Title Company You Can Trust: Colony Title
At Colony Title, we will help you through the process of getting your property’s title and help you avoid the pitfalls of hidden costs while you buy your home. We are also well trained in identifying any and all errors in public records and helping you resolve them. We specialize in real estate title insurance in both Maryland and Washington, D.C., and we will perform an expert title search, check through all past documentation, and examine records for any fraud or forgery. For more information on how we can get you into the home of your dreams, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 884-1160. To get more updates on housing markets and how to get into your home, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.