Choosing a title company is often an afterthought. And that’s understandable, since in the home buying process, decisions will have to be made in regards to a real estate agent, a lender, a home inspector, a moving company, a termite company, a home insurance company, and on and on.
However, the selection of a title company can be a critical step in the process as well, and not just because of the pricing.
Post closing issues arise with surprising frequency. Perhaps a tax bill has been overpaid and now the buyer needs a refund from the city or county tax office. Or maybe there is a tax classification issue. Only a local title company with experience can navigate you through these types of post closing issues.
Here is another scenario that occurs all too often: a property owner contacts us for a refinance or to sell the property and the title work reveals an unreleased trust, meaning that even though the prior loan was paid off, the lien was not properly released from the Land Records.
Obviously, this was the responsibility of the prior title company that handled either the prior refinance or the purchase of the property, so the ideal and quickest solution is to go back to that prior title company.
But what if that prior title company is no longer around or was a national title vendor? Good luck finding the paper trail, especially if that loan was paid off a long time ago.
Of course you could go directly to the lender, but with all of the takeovers and changes among lenders, they often have difficulty finding old information. If you had used a respected, local title company, you would have a local contact that would personally research and resolve the issue for you.
So keep in mind the reputation and the experience (as well as the price) of the title company that you select.