The Importance of Choosing a Title Agent

Estate agent giving house keys to customer after contract signature. Concept for The Importance of Choosing a Title Agent.

When you are buying a new home or selling your current one, the title agent plays an important role in ensuring that the transaction goes smoothly and that your interests are protected. While title agents typically work behind the scenes, their work is crucial to ensuring a smooth transaction.

At RKPT, we have operated our own title company for over forty years. Safe Title Agency, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RKPT that provides buyers, sellers, lending institutions, and real estate developers with title and escrow services for residential and commercial real estate transactions. We offer a wide range of title services that allow our clients to close transactions efficiently while providing a unique focus on customer service.

What Is a Title Agent?

A title agent is a licensed insurance agent that issues title insurance in a real estate transaction. Title agents also review public records to ensure there are no issues with the title to the property, prepare documentation to close a real estate transaction, and hold and distribute funds in escrow.

What Does a Title Agent Do?

A title company plays several key roles when you buy or sell real estate.

Perform a Title Search

A title agent will perform extensive, often tedious research of local real estate records to verify the status and condition of the title to the property. A title agent will ensure that there is no pending legal action against a property, such as a lien or a foreclosure action, and ensure that there are no defects in the title, such as property line disputes or unpaid taxes.

Issue Title Insurance

A title agent is authorized to issue title insurance on behalf of a title insurance company. Title insurance protects against what you do not know about the property, like defects in the title that are difficult to identify. Title insurance also protects your ownership interest in the property by protecting against filing errors, forgeries, undisclosed heirs, and other defects that a title search would not identify.

Facilitate Real Estate Closings

A title agent can act as the closing agent for a real estate transaction. The closing agent ensures that all documentation is distributed and signed.

Act as an Escrow Officer

As an escrow officer, a title agent will receive and distribute payments associated with the closing of a real estate transaction. Funds and documents are only released according to the written instructions of the buyer and seller.

File and Record Paperwork

Once all parties have signed the necessary documents and the real estate transaction has been closed, the title agent will record the deed and mortgage, and any additional documents that need to be filed with the county land records office in the county where the real estate is located.

How Do I Choose the Best Title Agent Near Me?

When choosing a title agent, look for an experienced agency that is well-staffed and can provide comprehensive and responsive service. You should also verify the identity and reliability of the underwriting title insurer.

Consider the relationship between the title agency and the other parties to the transaction. A title agent should be well-respected by realtors and local lending institutions and have relationships with other professionals in the industry.

You should also ask about the technology the title agent uses, such as secure web portals, e-signatures, and other technology offerings that can create an easier experience for you.

Who Chooses the Title Agent?

Choosing a title agent can become a controversial aspect of a real estate transaction. Buyers and sellers will each have their own opinions about how to choose a title agency. Lenders, brokers, and real estate agents also have their own views.

Conventionally, the buyer selects the title agent. If the seller is not comfortable with the title agent, they can suggest an alternate. In most real estate transactions, the party paying for the title insurance will select the title agency.

Contact RKPT for More Information

Choosing the right title agency can have a significant impact on your real estate closing. At RKPT, we operate our own title company, Safe Title Agency, Inc., which allows our real estate lawyers to close your real estate transaction more efficiently and with a unique focus on customer service.

If you have questions or need assistance choosing a title agent, we invite you to contact us to learn more about our real estate practice and the title services we provide.