Property title companies play a major role when purchasing a home, and yet, many people have no idea what they do! On todays episode of From the Nest Podcast, I interview Olivia Sohnly with Barristers of Ohio Title Company to discuss how title companies are involved with each home transaction.
Interview with Olivia Sohnly
Olivia is a Settlement Closer at Barristers of Ohio that offers Title and Escrow Services.
- Barristers of Ohio has offices in five states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York & Michigan
- They are the national leader in title insurance and are well versed in the home buying and selling process.
- As a settlement closer, Olivia handles all of the closings in the area. She is a remote closer, Olivia can perform closings where ever the client prefers which is a huge benefit! She can do a closing at your house, at a nursing home, at a hospital, anywhere the client wants to provide that additional convenience factor.
Property Titles 101
A title is a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or equitable interest. It may also refer to a formal document, such as a deed, that serves as evidence of ownership.
What does a title company do?
A title company makes sure that the title to a piece of real estate is legitimate and then issues title insurance for that property. Title insurance protects the lender and/or owner against lawsuits or claims against the property that result from disputes over the title.
The title company checks liens on the home, chain of defects, delinquencies, payoffs and who needs to sign the documents
How long does title work take?
It typically takes 30-90 days
What is an escrow agent?
Escrow Agents will typically serve as an impartial party for the home buyer, seller, and lender, which entails carrying out the title search, issuing the insurance policies, facilitating closing, and recording and filing all paperwork
They will typically request the following information:
- The identification of the property and the parties involved
- The purchase price
- Lender information
- Existing mortgages
- A signed copy of the purchase agreement
- And will gather additional information for your file:
- Tax information
- Homeowner/maintenance fees
- Inspection reports
- Loan payoff statements
- Hazard and other insurances
What is an underwriter?
The underwriter reviews county records and checks the title to the property to ensure ownership and rights. One common issue is an incorrect legal description.
What does clean title mean?
If there are no issues in the title report (liens, title defects, etc), then it is considered a clean title and the title insurance company can move forward and issue a commitment to the lender and home buyer.
If it does not come back as a “clean” title, it is said to have clouds on the title that need to be cleared up.
The Closing Disclosure (CD):
When the title is clear, the home buyer’s mortgage lender will provide the closing disclosure for review at LEAST 3 days prior to closing.2
What to avoid as a buyer once you go under contract with a property:
Your debt to income ratio is VERY important, so anything you do that may affect it should be avoided – this means opening up any credit cards, making any big purchases, changing jobs, depositing large sums of money into your account (ex: inheritance)
If any of these things happen, you must discuss with your lender right away and let them know what is going on.