Independent agencies reject affiliated business arrangements: Washington Post

Over the weekend, the Washington Post Real Estate Section published an article by nationally syndicated columnist Ken Harney describing a sea change in the title insurance industry where transparency and honest rates are becoming more commonplace.

Toward the bottom of the story was a nice mention of Federal Title and our REAL Credit program as shining, local example of a title company rejecting the old practices of the title insurance industry in favor of a business model that benefits consumers.

Needless to say our office was pretty thrilled.

We believe consumers should know they have the right to choose their title company based on factors such as price, customer service, years in business, responsiveness and reliability.

We encourage homebuyers to shop for title services and offer them a breadth of information on our Web site to help them make the decision that is best for their situation. For years we've published our rates on our Web site and offered homebuyers and their agents a free online closing costs calculator to help them gauge how much money will be needed for settlement.

If Harney's article is any indication of the future of the title insurance industry, then it seems Federal Title's business model is finally becoming the norm instead of the brow-raising exception to the rule.

And the rest of the pack is following suit, as Harney writes: "A handful of agents in states where regulations permit discounts off closing-packages are now offering them. Plus growing numbers of title agencies are gearing up software platforms to provide services to consumers: online rate quotes, transaction updates ­notifying customers about the status of their title order. Some are even e-mailing documents in advance of closings for customers’ inspection, rather than hitting buyers with last-minute settlement surprises."

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