Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is title insurance?
A title insurance policy protects the insured against loss arising from a title defect due to hidden risks, or undiscovered interests such as liens, claims, or encumbrances.
2. Why do I need title insurance?
When a home is purchased, it is important that the property is properly conveyed, and free from any unexpected adverse interests. Having title insurance allows the homeowner to enjoy the benefits from homeownership, as well as protect their ability to freely sell or pledge the property as security for a loan.
3. If my lender requires a title policy, does that protect me as the owner?
No. The Lender’s Title Policy only protects the lender’s interest in the property as long as it is secured by the mortgage. The only way a homeowner is covered is if an Owner’s Policy is purchased.
4. What is covered by title insurance?
- False impersonation of the true owner of the property.
- Forged deeds, releases, or wills.
- Undisclosed, or missing Heirs.
- Instruments executed under an invalid, or expired Power of Attorney.
- Mistakes in recording legal documents.
- Misrepresentations of wills.
- Deeds by persons of unsound mind, or minors.
- Deeds by persons who claim they’re single, but are actually married.
- Liens for unpaid estate, inheritance, income, or gift taxes.
5. How much is title insurance?
See Services and Fees section for a complete breakdown of fees.
6. How quickly can we close?
2-5 business days depending on how quickly we can get the title search performed, and if all parties are local for closing.
7. Does my spouse need to sign closing documents?
If you are the seller, and are occupying the property as a primary residence and your spouse didn’t take title when you bought the property, then yes. If the property is not the primary residence, only the persons listed in title need to sign closing documents. If you are the buyer purchasing the home as a primary residence or wish to have your spouse in title with you, then yes the spouse will need to acknowledge at least the mortgage and other pertaining documents the lender may require to satisfy the loan. If the spouse is not going to hold title to the property, and it’s not a primary residence, then the spouse is not required to execute closing documents.
8. What should I bring to closing?
As a seller, a photo ID (driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID). Other items may be required, and will be discussed prior to closing if needed. As a buyer, a photo ID (driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID) along with a 2nd form of identification if required by the lender, as well as a cashier’s check made payable to NFTC for the cash-to-close balance.
10. Do I need to be at closing?
No. If you are unable to attend closing, please notify your Closing Agent immediately. We will need a daytime physical address to overnight documents too. If you are a cash buyer, documents may be emailed or faxed for execution. All other transactions where the buyer/seller is absent will require documents to be overnighted. You may choose to utilize a courtesy or mobile closer in your area, but it is not required. Only Notary services are required for executing documents.
11. Who chooses where to close?
Whichever party has agreed to pay for the Owner’s Title Policy has the ability to dictate the company for closing. Per Section 9 of RESPA: A seller is prohibited from requiring the homebuyer to use a particular title insurance company or attorney, directly or indirectly, as a condition of the sale of the home. Buyers may sue a seller who violates this provision for an amount equal to three times all charges made for the title insurance.
12. Do I need a boundary survey for closing?
As a buyer, it is always recommended to obtain a boundary survey. If you are paying cash for the home, a survey is not required. If you are financing the home, most lenders require the ALTA 9-06 Endorsement to the Lender’s Title Policy insuring a boundary survey; therefore, making a survey a requirement for closing. In some cases, a prior survey may be used to issue this endorsement, restrictions apply.
13. What is a Power of Attorney, and when is it needed?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorizes another person to sign on your behalf. The Power of Attorney is most often used when a seller is not local for closing, and/or needs to sign early. In the event there are multiple buyers/sellers who are not able to sign in one central location, a Power of Attorney may be used for the closing documents. When a Power of Attorney is used for a buyer, it is important that the lender is notified immediately so they can direct the appropriate parties (usually the title company or attorney handling the closing) to prepare an approved Power of Attorney for execution and enforceability. Anytime a Power of Attorney is used for any party, the original is always required at closing.
14. How long will the actual closing take?
Typically the closing is less than 30 minutes long. Our company aims to keep closings to 1 hour or less, but may last longer if needed.
15. When should I schedule the closing time?
As soon as all parties are ready to close, it is best to schedule the time so that everyone gets the best available slot. The closer the middle or end of the month approaches, the quicker spots fill up. If you have a specific time needed, and a less flexible schedule, it is best to get the closing scheduled as soon as possible to insure the time slot needed.
16. When should the final walk-thru (inspection) of the home take place?
If repairs are part of the transaction, a final walk-thru should be done immediately upon completion of all repairs to insure they are complete to the buyer’s approval. Otherwise, a final walk-thru is recommended the day before closing in case there are any unexpected issues that arise and need to be rectified prior to closing.