3 Biggest Factors to Consider when Choosing a Title Company
Selecting a title company is often an afterthought in the home buying and home refinancing process.
Everybody carefully selects the lender or the real estate agent, but by the time it gets to the title company, often the parties are burned out or willing to just use whoever is recommended to them.
But that is a mistake that can cost hundreds of dollars at closing and create unnecessary headaches both during the process and in the near and distant future.
When selecting a title company, here are three key factors to consider:
Did you know that many title companies have kickback arrangements with real estate brokerages and lenders while some title companies are wholly owned by a real estate brokerage?
These agreements lead to the consumer paying higher fees and raise concerns over whether the title company can maintain its position as an independent neutral fiduciary.
As a consumer, the best way to guarantee that your interests are protected and best served is to use a title company that is independently owned and operated.
When an agent or lender recommends Federal Title, it is a genuine referral not motivated by a separate agreement but instead motivated by wanting to make sure that a truly independent title company provides great service and great pricing without a potential conflict of interest.
Title companies have long been associated with a lack of transparency and an unwillingness to disclose fees properly or fully.
By tacking on endorsement fees, document storage fees and delivery fees after the initial disclosure, title companies have earned this unfortunate reputation.
For over 25 years, Federal Title has been a pioneer by being one of the first title companies in the nation to make it simple and easy to obtain an accurate and guaranteed quote online, with no hidden fees, no tricks, and no surprises at the table.
Sometimes I hear from potential clients that after obtaining our online quote they were able to get the title company that was referred to them to reduce their fees (typically saving hundreds of dollars) to match our up-front, transparent quote.
I always ask, why would you want to use a title company that only agreed to give you a competitive quote after you forced them to do so, instead of a company that gave you a fair quote up-front?
Most of the time, they agree and switch title companies recognizing that Federal Title was transparent from the start while the other title company was only transparent after being forced into it.
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Not all title companies are created equal and it is a mistake to assume that any title company can handle your closing in a professional and efficient manner.
Do some research before selecting a title company by reviewing the company’s website, looking at the company’s reviews and looking for the company’s presence in social media.
Will the company be capable of getting you to closing in a smooth and efficient manner? Does the company have local knowledge and understand how taxes and recordings work in your jurisdiction?
If you have a post-closing issue or concern, will the company still be around to help, or will you be left on your own?
We often receive calls from agents asking for post-closing help for closings that took place at another title company because the other company is not able to fix the problem.
Research title companies as you would every other player in your real estate transaction, and consider conflicting business interests, shady fees and quality of reputation when making your decision. You’ll set yourself up for a smooth settlement experience.