Title Insurance Services Northern Virginia
Title Insurance – Protecting Your Lender
One of the most important functions a real estate settlement attorney provides is ensuring that the title to real property is conveyed clean of any unknown ownership interests, liens or encumbrances. Lenders will always require a title search and title insurance to protect their investment in your home, building or property.
Although there are not strict regulations about who conducts a title search, it is a matter of prudent judgement and, in most areas, local custom, to contract with a real estate attorney or title company for the title search itself. One of the important aspects that needs to be researched, the lender’s point of view, is ensuring there are neither mortgages or other title encumbrances that would reduce their priority standing should a sale, refinance or foreclosure proceeding occur at some point in the future.
Lenders will also almost uniformly require a lender’s title insurance policy, which is purchased by the property buyer for the benefit of the lender. They require it on each and every loan they make to protect their equity in the property. Title insurance issuance is regulated by the state – only approved Agents representing approved title insurance underwriters can offer title insurance policies. Lenders require title insurance coverage as even the most thorough title search may, on rare occasion, not discover a title imperfection that puts the lender’s interest in the property at risk.
Title insurance is like the grease that keeps the wheel of real property conveyance going – by reducing the risk of loss and court costs to defend legal preference in a refinance, payoff or foreclosure situation, lenders are able to fund a larger number of mortgages. In addition, the use of title insurance helps speed the title search process, as the financial risk of near unknowable/undiscoverable facts would bring the title search process to a snail’s pace to reduce such risk to acceptable levels.
Title Insurance – Protecting Your Real Estate Investment
While it is unusual for a lender to require the buyer to obtain an owner’s title policy that covers the buyer’s risk, most buyers understand it is beneficial to reduce their own risk of loss should a title imperfection be discovered after closing. A home is often the biggest asset an individual or family owns, and the one-time cost of buyer’s coverage is inexpensive and usually not impediment to purchasing coverage.
There are two main types of title insurance for buyers:
- Standard owner’s title insurance policy, which covers the same types of risks included in lender’s coverage, including title defects, undiscovered liens and encumbrances.
- Enhanced owner’s title insurance policy, which adds coverage for post-purchase zoning issues, property line issues (such as fence or wall placement) and issues with building permits. Enhanced owner policies (really the standard in the industry) also increase in value by 10% for each of the 1st five years you own the property, so at the end of 5 years, your policy actually covers a value equal to 150% of the purchase value. That way, if your home has increased in value you are fully protected. *Enhanced Policies are also known as “Eagle Policies.”
Adam Engel, Managing Partner at Prime Title & Escrow
Everyone who is involved in the closing process—the sellers, buyers, listing agent, buyers agent, lenders and the real estate settlement attorney—are all dependent on the resources of the settlement company.
Adam Engel is proud to act as a real estate settlement attorney for Prime Title & Escrow, LLC, a leading title and settlement company in the Washington, D.C. region. As a principal and settlement agent, Adam is able to leverage Prime’s mobile settlement capabilities to bring the settlement table to you and your clients. Prime Title & Escrow operates on the principles of neutrality, transparency and professionalism. Learn more about Prime Title & Escrow.
Adam Engel offers significant real-world real estate title and settlement expertise and vast experience. His single goal is to provide a flawless, stress-free settlement transaction that leaves everyone — buyer, seller, real estate agents and loan officers — feeling confident and happy. He focuses on being a dependable, valuable and flexible partner to his real estate agent and individual clients, and will be sure to listen to your concerns and ensure all questions are researched and answered in a time-sensitive fashion.
Contact Adam today to discuss how he can help increase your and your clients’ satisfaction with the real estate closing process, each and every settlement. Call him at 703-552-4155, email him or fill out his contact form.