Why 20% of Homebuyers May Not Sleep Tonight
You’re a real estate agent, so you know that buying a home can be overwhelming for many of your clients. Homebuyers can easily feel confused and frustrated by the mounds of paperwork they have to sign. Plus, all the fees associated with closing can sometimes be a surprise even to an experienced buyer.
Owner’s title insurance is one of those items often misunderstood by homebuyers at closing, yet its value is tremendous. As an important advisor to your clients, you are in the position to help them understand the value of owner’s title insurance and the dangers that can be incurred without it.
What is a Title Examination?
During the home-closing process, your title professional will help transition the home from the seller to you, the homebuyer, by examining public records. Generally, if a problem is discovered, the title professional works to resolve them before you purchase the home. owever, even after a title search is performed and you purchase your home, problems could arise that threaten your ownership rights. Examples include:
- Undiscovered tax liens
- Forged signatures in the chain of title
- Recording errors
- Undisclosed easements
- Title claims by missing heirs* or ex-spouses
Getting owner’s title insurance protects your property rights from threats like these. Here’s a real-life example of how it works.
A True Story…
A family in Missouri unknowingly purchased their home from a seller who had taken out a separate $419,000 loan on the property. But this fact was not discovered during the closing process, and the family’s lender paid the seller directly instead of paying off the existing loan.
Soon, the family faced foreclosure because someone else had claim against their title. Fortunately, the family had owner’s title insurance. So the title company paid the debt and the family kept their home—and peace of mind.
This story has a positive ending, but without owner’s title insurance, the family could have faced serious costs, and even eviction.
The good news is that owner’s title insurance protects homebuyers financially, as long as they or their heirs* own the home. For a low, one-time fee (average of 0.5% of purchase price), homebuyers can rest assured, knowing they are protected from inheriting existing debts or claims to their property.
Free resources for Realtors®
Together, real estate agents, land title insurance professionals and other stakeholders involved in real estate transactions can protect homebuyers and provide them with the peace of mind they deserve during the home closing process.
For more information about title insurance, and to get free resources for real estate agents, visit www.alta.org/realtor. To order Title Work of your own, click here.
*This advertising offers a brief description of insurance coverages, products and services and is meant for informational purposes only. Actual coverages may vary by state, company or locality. You may not be eligible for all of the insurance products, coverages or services described in this advertising. For exact terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations, please contact Bankers Title & Bankers Closing Services.