Recently, I stumbled upon a posting by a Washington DC-based real estate agent proclaiming that homebuyers need not shop for title insurance since title insurance rates are uniform.
While it’s mostly true that title insurance rates in DC, Maryland, and Virginia are the same, the settlement fees charged by title companies are not.
In fact, a recent study comparing the settlement fees charged by title companies in vary by as much as $1,180; disproving the notion that homebuyers shouldn’t bother shopping for title services.
With a simple Google search using “closing costs “ or “title insurance” in DC, Maryland, or Virginia, a homebuyer will find several title companies willing to provide an online guaranteed quote for title services.
Most of these title companies (a.k.a, settlement service providers) promoting transparency by offering an online guaranteed closing costs quote are independent title companies; meaning that they are not owned by or affiliated with a real estate brokerage.
In other words, the independent title company is often willing and able to offer better pricing to the homebuyer since they don’t share their revenue with a referral source.
My best advice to a prospective homebuyer: Shop for a title company just like you shop for your mortgage – It’s your right to choose a title company.