Business & Finance

Just What Does a Title Agent Do?

Your new house, real estate agent holding house key to his client after signing contract agreement in office,concept for real estate,

There are many steps involved in real estate transactions. And without having the right people on your side to walk you through it, things can go wrong really fast. This is why you need a title agent. 

Let’s take a closer look at what they do and how having a title agent can improve your real estate experience. 

Understanding the Title to Your Property

The title to a property is not a tangible item. It is not the deed that is recorded in official records but rather the actual rights to it. In other words, the title gives you the rights, uses, and privileges of owning the property.  

It is so important to make sure that this title is free from any encumbrances so that nothing interferes with your rights. A title agent makes this happen. 

The Role of a Title Agent in Your Real Estate Transaction

Title agents play a significant role in real estate transactions, whether residential or commercial. As mentioned, they work hard to make sure the title is free and clear before it changes hands. They do this with a title search and protect it with title insurance. 

The Title Search

A title search is a thorough look at all of the public records concerning the property. The title agent looks to make sure that there are no other claims to it —  and to confirm that the seller actually has the legal right to sell. 

Title agents look for things that may impact your rights to title, such as liens, judgments, easements, outstanding taxes or HOA fees, encroachments, and so forth. Any of these issues will have to be cleared before moving forward with the transaction. And, it is the title agent who works with all the necessary parties to lift these restrictions prior to closing. 

What happens if they are not addressed before the property changes hands? Those title defects are now the new owner’s issue. Title agents do everything they can to prevent this from happening. 

Title Insurance

To protect against anything that is missed in the title search, a title agent will offer you a title insurance policy. This will save you from potentially devastating financial loss due to title issues that weren’t taken care of. 

Certain issues may not always show up on a title search, such as an erroneously recorded mortgage, a missing will or unknown heir, and even a forged document. These things may not come to light until after you have already taken ownership of the property. Title insurance will protect you if they do. 

Before closing, your title agent will present you with a title commitment. This is a document that lists the findings from the title search — along with an offer for a title insurance policy. 

The role of a title agent is essential in each of these areas of a real estate transaction. 

The Benefits of Working with a Title Agent

There are many reasons to work with a title agent – not just for your transaction, but for your peace of mind, too. 

A title agent will: 

  • Create a smooth, hassle-free process for all parties
  • Reduce the chance of delays 
  • Make handling the process convenient 
  • Help you avoid fraudulent transactions

Most importantly, a title agent will ensure you have the coverage you need to avoid issues that may put your property rights in jeopardy later down the road. 

Buchanan Settlement Services is a full-service title company serving the needs of homeowners, sellers, land developers, lenders, attorneys, and real estate professionals.