Why would a Realtor recommend a specific title company?

Agents Sound Off

 

Susan White
Sonoma
707.537.1236
swhite@apr.com

Question: Why would a Realtor recommend a specific title company?

Answer: When a real estate transaction enters the escrow process, the efficiency and attention to detail of the title company and escrow officer are paramount to facilitating a smooth closing. Choosing the right company to handle this important final phase of the transaction can make the difference between a smooth and timely closing or a cumbersome one with obstacles.

Title companies play a key role in acting as the combined agent of the buyer, seller and any other parties related to a transaction, including any mortgage lenders. From the title search of the property to ensuring outstanding liens and encumbrances on the property are identified, the title company is an important component of a successful sale. The company also ensures all documents are properly signed and legally recorded — not a small matter in a substantial financial transaction.

It’s also not uncommon for one or more parties of the transaction to be out of state or out of the country, and the title company will arrange signings virtually anywhere with traveling notaries, attorneys or branch offices.

For the Realtor, the title company and escrow officer are key players in a transaction. Knowing you’re working with someone you can trust to communicate well throughout escrow, and ensure all documents are executed appropriately, is critically important.

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How long does an escrow period last and what can complicate it?

Agents Sound Off

 

Karen Richardson
Orinda
925.639.3904
krichardson@apr.com

Question: How long does an escrow period last and what can complicate it?

Answer: A “typical” escrow is 30 days. That gives the title company plenty of time to pull up the title report, and search for any liens, easements, lawsuits, or any other clouds on title. When the title company closes escrow and you are granted title they are insuring that you know everything that may be attached.

There are three other things that determine how quickly or slowly escrow closes, and these are on the buyer’s side. The loan contingency automatically makes the contract default to 17 days for the loan to go through underwriting and have complete approval.

The second factor is the appraisal contingency which is when the bank orders an appraisal of the property. If there is a difference between the appraisal amount and the purchase price, the buyer is required to pay the difference in cash.

Finally, there is the physical contingency which the buyer can make any amount of time they choose, but again defaults to 17 days. Often reports have been done on the property in advance. If not, buyers may need time extensions to complete, review, and sign off on any inspection findings. Agents will file time extensions at this time, which can make the escrow period as long as it takes for the buyer to feel they know and accept all they need to about the property.

At that point, the buyer can sign off this contingency, or ask for a price reduction, or request that repairs be made. So, while a “typical” escrow is 30 days, they can go from 1 week to many weeks, depending on these factors.

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