What is Title Insurance?
The purchase of a home is, in most cases, the largest financial commitment in an individual's lifetime.
- Title Insurance protects you against losses due to defects in the title of the property or expenses in legal defense.
- Your ownership is authenticated and will be promptly defended against any claims, in court if necessary at no cost to you, whether a claim is valid or not.
- A title insurance policy will protect you and your heirs as long as you have an interest in the property.
- If a valid claim is made against your title as covered by your policy, the title insurer protects you by bearing the cost of settling the claim should it prove valid, in order to protect your title and keep you in possession of your property.
Can a married person purchase property individually?
Yes, in Florida a married person can acquire (purchase) and convey (sell) property individually. However, in the case of homestead property, the spouse must join in the conveyance.
Can I put my minor children in the title?
Yes, you can. However, if you decide to sell, since minors lack the capacity to enter legal agreements, a guardian must be appointed by the court of equity. The guardian could be one or both parents or a third party appointed by the court called guardian ad litem. The court gives to this guardian the authority and responsibility to look after the minor's best interests.
If the note is only in my name, why does my spouse have to sign the mortgage?
If the property is going to be the primary residence of the married couple, then it is necessary for your spouse to sign in acknowledgement that he/she knows that the property is being encumbered and that there is a note that needs to be paid by the borrowers' heirs. In short, someone has to keep on paying the mortgage until it is paid in full.
What are the steps involved with "Closing Day"?
Some of the most common requirements prior to closing are listed below. These items need some time allocated to them and the closing date should not be scheduled until all received and approved. These are usually ordered upon final approval since this expense is payable regardless if there is a closing or not. Commonly these are the buyer's cost.
- Termite Inspection- if it is not clear, the seller will need time to do the necessary repairs.
- Hazard Insurance
- Coordinate closing date and time with all parties.
ALL PARTIES MUST BRING TO CLOSING DRIVER'S LICENSE OR ID CARD AND SOCIAL SECURITY CARD.
IF THE BUYERS NEED TO BRING MONEY TO CLOSING IT MUST BE IN THE FORM OF A CASHIERS CHECK PAYABLE TO THE TITLE COMPANY. Therefore, keep in mind that you have to go to the bank. The buyer is the one that has to sign the most documents. An FHA or VA mortgage have approximately 72 documents.
The closing may be done as a mail away. This means that either party or both will not be attending the closing and the documents are sent via Federal Express to them. This requires that the title closer or his/her processor have the party's phone number to coordinate the exact address to ship the documents to and the time frame needed to return the documents. Usually the real estate professional will find out the possibility of this situation as soon as they get the contract and will alert the title closer from the moment they send the title order.
It takes approximately an hour and a half and during the whole closing the title closer will be describing and explaining the documents that you will be signing. Also, he/she will be giving you other very important information like when and how to file your homestead exemption.
What is FIRPTA?
FIRPTA stands for Foreign Investors in Real Property Taxation Act of 1980, which is part of the Internal Revenue Tax Code. The Act was enacted with the intent of recovering at least a portion of the taxes (based on the Sale Price and not the proceeds to the seller) due on the sale of real property by a foreign seller. A foreign seller may be a Non-Resident Alien individual, corporation, partnership, trust or estate.
The code requires that on all transactions over $300,000 the buyer withhold 10% of the purchase price from the seller at closing, and remit the withheld amount to the IRS along with Forms 8288, 8288A & 8288B completed and signed by the buyer, within 20 days of the closing. All parties to the transaction must have a TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number), which may be a Social Security Number or an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) assigned by the IRS via a W-7 application form. Buyers and sellers are advised to check and confirm necessary actions for complying with this code and also for exceptions applicable under certain conditions.
How does the short sale work / What is your process?
As a title company we not allowed to negotiate with the lender, but we will help process the paperwork once you submit a title order to us we take on the transaction from the beginning and we will assist gathering the seller's financial documentation in order to fulfill the requirements of the lender. We provide the seller's borrower authorization and make them aware that we are the closing agent. We will then prepare a package for the lender and, continue communicating with the lender and all other lien holders on a regular basis until we have obtained the short sale approval and various payoffs. During the lender review period, we will update the title. Once we have an approval from the lender, we will prepare for closing on the property.
What is your fee?
We only charge our normal Title Services & Closing Fee, as on any real estate closing transaction (short sale or not), plus the promulgated Title Insurance Premium. There are no negotiation or other junk fees, nor are there any fees to the agents or "side fees to the buyer/seller". On short sale transactions our fees are ultimately paid for by the seller's payoff lender, just like the REALTOR's commissions, so there is no 'out of pocket' expense to the Seller or anyone else.