Frequently Asked Questions

How can title insurance protect you?

Title Insurance policies insure titles to real property for owners and mortgage lenders and provide the following protections:

Payment of loss arising from hidden defects not found during a title examination or recording.

Payment of legal expenses incurred to clear title defects, which threaten the lender or owner with loss.

Assurance that the marketability of the property remains unimpaired from title defects.

Policies are issued based upon a search and review of the public land records and other relevant documents. A thorough examination is performed to determine title ownership and any other matters affecting the property title and use of that property. Items that may affect a title include easements, restrictions, rights of way and judgment liens.

The coverage provided by a title policy is long-lived. The mortgage holder continues to be protected upon foreclosure of the insured mortgage or deed of trust. The owner of real estate is insured for as long as he or she owns the property, is the holder of a purchase money mortgage or deed of trust secured by the property or is liable under the warranties included in his or her deed to convey the property.

What does a title company do?

A title company serves two primary roles in a real estate transaction:

The first role is a title search and examination of the property. A careful search of the public records is made to search documents which may affect the title to the property. These items include mortgages, liens, unpaid taxes, easements and other restrictions which may encumber the property. Upon completion of the search and examination of the property, a title insurance commitment is prepared which sets forth the requirements for establishing good and marketable title for the purchaser. The title commitment will also reflect any restrictions or other exceptions which may encumber the property.

The second role is known as the “escrow services.” The title company, through its escrow officers, oversees the closing of the transaction and ensure that all the terms and conditions of the sales contract have been met and satisfied. The title company makes sure that all necessary documents have been properly executed, and makes all the appropriate disbursement of funds to ensure that at the completion of the transaction, the buyer receives good and marketable title to the property. In many instances, a lender provides funds to assist the buyer with the purchase price and the title company ensures that it has followed all the closing instructions provided by the lender.

After the closing, (now known as “consummation”) the title company will record all necessary documents, forward all payments to any prior lender, County Tax Collector, and pay all parties who performed services or are due funds in connection with the closing.

Does the bank or lending institution always arrange for title insurance?

It usually does, but the lender only requires a loan policy. The lender does NOT arrange for an owner’s policy that protects and insures an owner’s interest in the property. You could lose your equity if you do not have an owner’s policy.

If I don’t have owner’s title insurance, how will a claim against my home affect me?

This could be very serious. It would mean you would have to pay all expenses involved with the legal defense of your rights and could even result in complete loss of your equity if your defense is unsuccessful.

What is a title defect?

Anything in the entire ownership of a piece of real estate which may impede the owner’s right to the “peaceful enjoyment” of the property or which may cause the owner to lose any portion of the property.

It is any one of a number of things that could jeopardize your interest. It could be an unsatisfied mortgage, lien, judgment or other recorded claim against the property. A defect could also take the form of a claim by a third party such as an unknown heir or prior owner whose title was transferred by forgery or fraud.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs is a catch-all term that refers to the costs and expenses involved in closing a real estate transaction. These costs are determined by the contracts between the parties, applicable laws, and local customs. The following explanation of “closing costs” is based upon our sample Real Estate Purchase Contract (see the Resources|Forms section for a downloadable copy – NEED TO HYPERLINK WHEN BUILT) and assumes typical mortgage closing expenses.

What is an owner’s policy of title insurance?

An owner’s title policy protects you against loss due to title defects, liens or other similar matters. Title insurance protects you from claims of ownership by other parties. It protects you against losses from problems that arose “before” you bought the property. The title company will defend you in court if there is a claim against your property, and will pay for covered losses.

Why do I need owner’s title insurance?

Title insurance adds security and peace of mind to buying a home. It is a one-time purchase that protects you for the life of the property. Title insurance insures against financial loss caused by defects in title to real estate. Title insurance companies defend against lawsuits attacking the title, or in the case of a covered loss, reimburse the insured up to the policy limit.

What is the cost of title owner’s insurance?

Title insurance premiums are governed by the Ohio Department of Insurance and are based upon the purchase price of the property. Click here for to calculate current Ohio title insurance rates.

Does the title insurance policy have to be renewed?

You pay for title insurance only once at the time you purchase the policy unless you decide later to add more coverage. Keep your policy, even if you transfer your title or sell the property. Coverage lasts as long as you or your heirs own the land, and may last forever for any title warranties made when you sell the property.

Is title insurance the same as homeowners insurance?

No, title insurance is different from other types of insurance. It does not insure against fire, flood, theft, or any other type of property damage or loss. It protects against losses from ownership problems that arose before you bought the property, but were not known at the time you bought the property. It does not guarantee that you will be able to sell your property or borrow money on it.

What is a conveyance fee?

The seller is required to pay the conveyance fee as stated in the standard purchase contract. It is the fee charged by the county auditor to transfer the property into the new owner’s name.

What about my lines of credit?

When selling your home every mortgage or lien has to be paid in full and terminated at closing. Lines of credit, even if unused, count as open liens against your property. The documents that we receive from the bank or lien holder detailing the amount due and where to send the funds are called ‘payoff statements’ or ‘payoffs’. We need lender contact info and the loan numbers for these liens so that we can obtain these payoffs.

How long does it take before we close?

The time it takes to get to a closing of a real estate transaction is largely determined by the contract between the parties and the time needed to get lender approval, if a mortgage is involved. In a typical residential transaction, most contingencies (other than financing and sale of the purchaser’s residence) can be removed within two weeks. Financing should be resolved within 30-45 days.

What items are needed for closing?

Buyers and Sellers
  • Please remember to bring a current photo ID to the closing (passport, drivers license or state-issued identification card).
  • Let us know as soon as possible if you are not able to attend a closing and/or require a Power of Attorney; please note that a separate signing fee may apply.
  • If you would like to review your closing documentation prior to the closing, please notify us in advance.
  • Ohio is a dower state; all spouses have to release dower or execute mortgages and deeds; see Ohio Revised Code 2103.02 for more information.

Buyers

  • Sellers copy of purchase agreement.
  • Cashiers check for the amount needed to close. We will let you know what that amount is or if a wire transfer is necessary.
  • Proof of purchase of insurance for fire, casualty, etc.
Sellers
  • Sellers copy of purchase agreement.
  • Any unrecorded instruments that affect the title.
  • Proof of satisfaction of any mechanics liens, chattel mortgages, judgments or mortgages that were paid prior to the closing.

Why do I record my deed?

Recording a deed at the Register of Deeds imparts “constructive notice” to the world that you own your property. If you fail to record your Deed, only those people who have actual notice of your interest in the property know of your ownership. The deed is merely evidence of your ownership of the property. It is not the same as a car title. It is of critical importance that the deed be placed on record.

Can I write a personal check at closing?

Ohio’s “Good Funds Law” requires that an aggregate amount in excess of $1,000 must be wired to LandmarkTitle prior to closing. If the amount required at closing is less than $1000, then a personal check is an acceptable form of payment.

How do we get started with the Landmark Team?

You can place a title order by sending a contract and any details pertaining to the contract to titleorders@landmarktitlesouth.com or by contacting us online. One of our title agents will contact you shortly after receipt.

Hire the trusted Landmark Team today!