Whether purchasing or refinancing a home, choosing a title insurance company is a significant piece to the closing puzzle.
The fall of the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate below the 4% mark is motivating many homeowners to refinance their mortgage. This, however, can be a costly process. Closing costs include expenses such as loan application and document fees, home appraisal, title search, attorney and recording fees. Don’t forget to add a new lender’s title policy to the bottom line.
When refinancing your home, the old loan is paid off and the original loan title policy expires. As a result, a new policy will be required by your lender to protect their investment in the property. (Owner’s insurance remains in effect as long as you own the property.) Typically, the lender or bank will suggest a particular title insurance company. However, many consumers don’t realize they are at liberty to choose their provider.
So, how do you choose the right one? More than likely, several agencies will appear in a local search. Although most title insurance fees are regulated by your state and consistent across the board, it is important to note that not all title insurance companies are created equal.
Key elements to consider when choosing a title insurance company:
- How long has your prospective title insurance company been in the industry? Is the agent an Attorney Title Company or a non-attorney title company? Some inexperienced agents and/or non-attorney based organizations may not be as well versed in various forms of real estate transactions as those who are attorney based.
- It is not unusual for lenders to work exclusively with one “in house” title company. While this can create greater efficiency within the process, it also presents an opportunity for price gouging. This means the consumer could potentially pay higher fees and receive less service.
- As previously mentioned, title insurance fees are regulated by most states’ Department of Insurance. However, the difference among companies is oftentimes exposed in the ancillary fees. In addition to title and endorsement fees, there will be recording, notary, document prep, courier, overnight delivery, wire, etc. charges, as well, not to mention the potential of “additional work” fees. Doing your due diligence in choosing the right title insurance company can potentially mean a savings of $200-$1,000.
Choosing the appropriate title insurance company is crucial for a successful and affordable closing experience. There is always the potential for hiccups in any real estate transaction. Having a title insurance company who is not only experienced in every aspect of the closing process, but also committed to keeping costs at a minimum, is a win-win for any consumer.
With the experience to serve you at a cost you can afford, we are prepared to handle all of the title insurance needs of homebuyers. Contact us today at (610) 579-9141 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.