Buying or selling any kind of real estate —whether condominiums, single family homes or office buildings — has legal consequences. In an escrow closing, the documents will be signed before an escrow officer working for a title company or escrow company. Part of this process may involve title insurance. The Ocala real estate attorneys of the Dean Law Firm can help you understand the role of title insurance in the overall the real estate transaction process.Clear Title
While buying a home or other real estate, you may be faced with many terms you’ve never heard, particularly if it’s your first real estate purchase. In Florida, closings may be handled by a title insurance agent or attorney with a notary. In addition to making sure title insurance is bought, when it is required, a title insurance agent facilitates the whole closing. The representative that handles the closing holds funds in escrow until they are disbursed.
If you buy residential real estate in Florida, you buy the land and any improvements on it, such as the structure, and it may be wise to purchase title insurance as well. It’s important for buyers to make sure they obtain the property free of encumbrances or liens, and they need to obtain title to property. Title is the basis of real estate ownership and references the legal right to use, own, possess, control or dispose of a home. An experienced real estate lawyer can assist you with each step of this process.Purpose of Title Insurance
Obtaining clear title occurs through the purchase of title insurance. Before a title insurance policy is issued, your title will be checked by an agent for defects or problems. Your entitlement to the property can be endangered by title defects.
Prior to issuance of a title insurance policy, title agents examine the chain of title for defects. Your entitlement to the property may be endangered by various problems within the chain. Problems or defects can include unpaid taxes, an easement that was granted to a neighboring property or a neighbor, an undisclosed claim from a prior owner’s heir, a mechanic’s lien, or other potential title defects.
Title insurance helps safeguard you or your lender from prior rights or claims other people may have to the real estate you bought. If somebody brings a claim to challenge your title, the title insurance underwriter owes a duty to defend your title and pay the related losses and costs to the property value up to policy limits. The policy limit for title insurance is typically your property’s sale value.
There are two types of title insurance. Often lenders require their own title insurance as a condition of loaning money for a mortgage. This lender’s policy provides protection to the lender’s interest in the title to a home. However, there are also title insurance policies for homeowners, which provide insurance to a property owner against the specific claims being enumerated. For example, the policy language can protect you against a prior owner’s debts, such as those that have led to a lien.
Buyers and sellers can purchase the lender’s policy and the owner’s policy. There is a single, one-time premium for a title insurance policy, and it stays in effect throughout the time you or an heir owns property. The title agent’s role is to seek and obtain title searches, examine a property’s title history for defects, prepare the real estate closing documents, prepare and issue title insurance, conduct closings, and, when there is a claim, disburse funds.Retain an Experienced Real Estate Attorney in Ocala
If you are concerned about securing title insurance in Ocala, you can hire an aggressive lawyer to help you navigate the process. At the Dean Law Firm, Michael E. Dean and Timothy S. Dean possess decades of combined experience. Call (352) 387-8700 to set up a free consultation with our attorneys or contact us online.