Title SearchOwner's PolicyLender's PolicyAL Title AssociationOther ServicesDiscountDeedsGFEReferrals

Title Search & Examination 

Title Search is a detailed examination of public title records such as deeds, court records, property, and name indexes to ensure that the seller is the legal owner and has the right to transfer ownership and to discover any defects or liens or other outstanding claims on the property that could prevent the sale. Making a thorough investigation and review of all title records is important to ensure there are no encumbrances to the property.

Owner’s Policy 

A homeowner’s policy protects you, the purchaser, against a loss that may occur from a fault in your ownership or interest you have in the property. You should protect the equity in your new home with a title policy.

  1. Standard title insurance coverage handles such risks as:
  • Forgery and impersonation
  • Lack of competency, capacity or legal authority of a party
  • Deed not joined in by a necessary party (co-owner, heir, spouse, corporate officer, or business partner)
  • Undisclosed (but recorded) prior mortgage or lien
  • Undisclosed (but recorded) easement or use restriction
  • Erroneous or inadequate legal description
  • Lack of a right of access
  • Deed not properly recorded
  1. B. Enhanced Owner’s Policy

An Extended coverage policy may be requested to protect against such additional defects as:

  • Off-record matters, such as claims for adverse possession or prescriptive easement
  • Deed to land with buildings encroaching on land of another
  • Incorrect survey
  • Silent (off record) liens (such as; mechanics’ or estate tax liens)

Pre-existing violations of subdivision laws or zoning ordinances

  • Protecting from financial loss due to demands that may be charged against the title to your home, up to the cost of the title policy.
  • Payment of legal costs if the title insurer has to defend your title against a covered claim.
  • Payment of successful claims against the title to your home covered by the policy, up to the cost of the policy.

Lender’s Policy 

A Lender’s policy protects the mortgage holder. If there is a fault in the title that results in a loss, the mortgage holder will be paid back. Sometimes referred to as a loan policy, this is issued to mortgage lenders. The lender’s policy covers only the amount of its loan, which is usually not the full property value. In the event of an adverse claim, the lender would ordinarily not be concerned unless its loan became nonperforming and the claim threatened the lender’s ability to foreclose and recover its principal and interest. And, in the event of a claim, there is no provision for payment of legal expenses for an uninsured party. When a loan policy is being issued, the small additional expense of an owner’s policy is a bargain.

The American Land
Title Association

(“ALTA”) has endorsement forms that are used throughout the country and sometimes modified in different areas. Basic elements of insurance they provide to the lender that cover losses from the following matters include:

  1.  The title to the property on which the mortgage is being made is either, not in the mortgage loan borrower, subject to defects, liens or encumbrances, or unmarketable.
  2. If there is no right of access to the land.
  3. The lien created by the mortgage is invalid or unenforceable, is not prior to any other lien existing on the property on the date the policy is written, or is subject to mechanic’s liens under certain circumstances.
  4. Policy ALTA forms also includes the coverage cost of defending insured matters against attack. All of the policies except or exclude certain matters and are subject to various conditions.

Other Settlement
Services

We have expertise in handling non-traditional settlements such as Short Sales, Bankruptcy, foreclosure, and property in Probate.

Discount (30% of the premium per reissue rate) 

Within ten years of issuance of title policy, if the new buyer can obtain the previous title policy issued to the previous owner (seller), then we can issue title policy at the current reissue rate with 30% discount.

Deeds

Title insurance is primarily based on records which include recorded documents, public records, files and the like. One of the most common of these documents is a deed — a written instrument transferring the title or an interest in real property from one party to another. There are a variety of types of deeds currently in use for the conveyance of title. The list that follows briefly describes the most common currently used.

 

  1. General Warranty Deed A real estate buyer is best protected by a General Warranty Deed. It includes by statue covenants as to prior conveyance and encumbrance. The seller or grantor conveys the property with certain covenants or warranties. The grantor is legally bound by these warranties. Whether expressly written into the deed, or implied by certain statutory words, basic warranties include:
  2. a) Covenant of seisin– Seisin means possession, and the grantor warrants that they own the property and have the legal right to convey it.
  3. b) Covenant against encumbrances-The Grantor warrants that the property is free of any liens or encumbrances unless they’re specifically stated in the deed.
  4. c) Covenant of quiet enjoyment-The buyer is guaranteed that the title will be good against third parties attempting to establish title to the property.
  5. d) Covenant of further assurance– The Grantor promises, in order to make the title good, they will deliver any document or instrument necessary.

The covenants or warranties in a general warranty deed do not cover just the period of ownership of this grantor. They extend back to the origin of the property. Each grantor of a general warranty deed in the title chain would be liable for title problems before and through their ownership.

 

  1. Special Warranty Deed The special warranty deed is not nearly as protective of the buyer as is the general warranty deed. The grantor of a special warranty deed conveys the property with two warranties:  (1) The grantor warrants that they have received title, and (2) the grantor warrants, unless noted specifically in the deed, that the property was not encumbered during their period of ownership. The grantor of the special warranty deed, in effect, only warrants the title against their own actions or omission. They warrant nothing prior to their taking title. If specifically stated in the deed, other warranties can be conveyed. Special warranty deeds are frequently used by executors and trustees.

 

  1. Quitclaim Deed This deed conveys any possible interest of the grantor in said property at the date of the deed without representations of encumbrances on title arising from liens, easements, etc. It is usually used to release an estate or interest less than “fee” interest

 

  1. Deed of Gift A Deed of Gift can be any of the above type of deeds. This deed is a transfer of title from one person to another without any consideration or money. It is generally exempt from grantor’s tax but there are certain conditions so ask our title attorney for detailed information.

GFE 10% Variance Guarantee Statement

The new Good Faith Estimate (“GFE”) form clearly discloses loan terms and closing costs. Our new settlement statement will mirror the GFE and disclose any variances from the original figures. We assure you that we can guarantee a 10% variance from the GFE.

Referrals

As the real estate market fluctuates, real estate professionals come and go including title companies. It is up most important to hire top-notched real estate professionals for any real estate transaction. The general public may not have pertinent information on real estate professionals including realtors and loan officers as we do. As we have worked with hundreds of realtors, loan officers, and other real estate professionals who cover almost all ethnic groups, nationalities, and languages, we can provide you with our unbiased opinion based on various relevant factors to choose. We also work with the surveyors, appraisers, termite companies, home warranties, construction companies, and many other professionals. When you are in need of a referral, please contact us at 703-658-7007.

 

Frequently Asked
Questions

What is a Title?

  • A title is the evidence, of right, that a person has to the ownership and possession of land. It is possible that someone other than the owner has a legal right to the property. If that right can be established, this person can claim the property outright or make demands on the owner as to its use.

Do I need Title Insurance?

  • Definitely! Title insurance is a means of protecting yourself from financial loss in the event that problems develop regarding the rights to ownership of your property. There may be hidden title defects that even the most careful title search will not reveal. In addition to protection from financial loss, title insurance pays the cost of defending against any covered claim.

How often must I pay the title insurance premium? 

  • Title insurance policies are paid in-full with a one-time fee which is usually part of closing costs.

Do I need a lawyer to close a real estate transaction? 

  • While simple real estate transactions may be handled without a lawyer, you may want your own attorney to clarify any terms that are unclear to you in any documents you are being asked to sign.

    You may also need sophisticated tax or real estate advice for more complex real estate transactions.