When your clients are buying or selling a home, there are several steps along the way—and choosing a title company is one of the most important. The title and closing process remains bewildering to many clients, with many wondering why they need a title company, who to hire, how to hire, and how much it will cost them.
The quality and type of title company can mean the difference between a smooth transaction and one that will not even make it to the closing table. There are many considerations to take into account when selecting a title company, with the following being our top 10 to ensure your client’s road to homeownership is calm and not chaotic.
Understand what makes a good title company
Forbes said it best. “A good title [company] does two things well: They coordinate the transaction efficiently and they provide remarkable client service.”
You do not want a title company that communicates poorly and fails to guide your clients through the closing.
Find out how financially stable the company is
Title companies play a key role in the home buying and home selling process. Since the title company maintains responsibility for escrowing funds before closing, handles other financial aspects of the transaction, and pays any claims that arise, it’s important to choose a financially stable title company. You can determine the financial stability of the company by checking your state’s Department of Insurance.
How’s their technology?
All too often, title companies are staffed inadequately, which causes issues and delays for your client’s transaction. In addition, ask about the technology they’re using. Are they using best-in-class technology, or are they pushing paper to get the transaction completed? The technology used can make or break the deal.
The old way of closing involved paper, faxing, and missed phone calls, but now we live in a world of automation and technology. You can do almost anything on your phone or computer, so why a home closing?
The Expetitle platform connects realtors, brokers, buyers and sellers all in one user-friendly, accessible, and organized application to make the closing a more delightful experience. This ensures the process will remain transparent, streamlined and, most important, on time.
Find out about the company’s experience
The title company is an important part of the home buying and selling process. You will work together for 30-60 days through title concerns, inspections, and other details of the transaction. Simply put, the title company can be the difference between chaos and celebration.
Ask how the company communicates
One of the biggest issues in the title process is the lack of communication. The home buying and selling process requires constant communication to be successful. Ask how the escrow officer or title agent communicates. Do they communicate by phone, email or face to face? It’s important that they’re on the same page.
Expetitle is changing the game in this regard. Communication is no longer an issue, as the status is available at any time online and is transparent to all parties.
Find out the cost of title services
When working with title companies, the cost typically depends on the size of the loan and varies by county or location. Additionally, a state’s Department of Insurance regulates title insurance fees. Often, the process can be convoluted and fraught with surprises; but it does not have to be. Expetitle guarantees its transparent and flat pricing is lower than the competition.
Understand up front how long the process will take
A title search should rarely take longer than two weeks. When you and your client are working on a tight deadline to close, your title company must be efficient.
Check the company’s claim history
The industry standard for claims is 5%. If a title company’s claim rate is above this, consider other companies. If a title company has few claims, it means they conduct thorough title searches.
Do you have to physically meet with the company and how often?
Years ago, you and your clients would have to visit the closing office in person at least once, if not multiple times, before closing. This limited you to working with nearby title companies and feeling beholden to their office hours.
With proptech title companies taking over, your clients can have a digital-first closing. Now, managing the entire title process can happen transparently online, from the comfort of your home or office, all while saving your clients time, money, and stress.
Protecting your client’s money
It is important to not only protect your clients’ funds but to also protect their investment into the future. Realtors and their clients alike should inquire about an underwriter’s financial rating. Any reputable title company will be happy you asked.
If the title underwriter is rated A+, A’, A, or B+, they have a strong overall financial condition that will allow them to meet any future claims. If you encounter an underwriter with a B or less, their ability to meet claims can vary widely, so be cautious.
Choosing the right title company is critical to a successful home closing. Choose a title company that is well-versed in all aspects of the closing process because if something goes wrong, you want to know they will have your back—and will get you back on the road to closing.