It’s Closing Time, What to Expect!

Buying or selling real estate in the near future? Here’s a few things to consider!

Ever wonder why a title company is typically part of your real estate transaction? Although you may only see them once in the transaction – at closing – believe us, a good title company plays a pretty crucial role in the success of buying or selling real estate! They facilitate the closing with both the seller and the buyer, file and properly record documents, work with your lender and insurance companies, review your title commitment and issue your title insurance. Arguably the glue to your transaction, title companies generally play the neutral party in your real estate transaction.

businesswoman outside officeSome of the most frequently asked questions about title and closing are answered below. We’re all about helping you understand the “why” behind the what.

Why is title insurance needed? Like possessing the title of your car means you own it, possession of a clear title of a property means it’s yours, right? Well… let’s hope so! Title insurance provides a layer of protection to your right of ownership. In other words, if someone approached you with claim to the title of your property, you’d want some assurance that they couldn’t possibly have a case, right? From unknown heirs, forged signatures on deeds, liens, fraudulent or innocent documentation errors, title companies provide a necessary blanket of protection to you through the issuance of a title insurance policy. Title insurance isn’t just something YOU will want, but you guessed it, your mortgage lender is going to require it as they too will want their interest in your property protected. Bottom line: Title insurance protects buyers from loss of value from defects to the title of real property.

How and when do you pay for it and how often? How long does my policy last? Thankfully title insurance is typically a one-time premium paid at the closing table, in the form of a typical closing cost. Your policy will last throughout your entire ownership of the property and will be passed along to your heirs.

Closing costs? What are they? Closing costs are considered all the costs required to close your transaction and will vary per party in the transaction.

AS-IS PC

Your FAR BAR As-Is Purchase Contract has a neat break down of who can expect to pay what at closing time, but usually it will include everything from the balance of your down-payment, loan origination fees, discount points, to pro-rated taxes and agent fees, etc. It’s a good idea to shop around a few recommended lenders so you can estimate what you’ll be paying in closing costs ahead of time, like before putting in an offer on a home with your agent! Also, before closing, be on the look out for a closing disclosure with the numbers ready for your review. You’ll want to communicate with your agent to make sure the title company’s calculations of credits and debits are correct per the agreed upon terms outlined in the contract.

What forms of payment are accepted for deposits (earnest money) and closing? Cash or credit cards are never acceptable forms of payments. Limitations and restrictions apply to personal checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks. Wires are always accepted and most common, however, be aware of a rise in wire fraud in recent years. Check out our WIRE FRAUD PREVENTION NOTICE and always remember to call the title company to confirm wire instructions. Hackers are getting sophisticated by hacking email accounts and sending incorrect wire instructions to their accounts while you unsuspectingly assume it was sent by your agent or the title rep. Again, always call and speak to the title company before wiring any funds.

We hope you find this information helpful.  If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the near future, our team of knowledgeable Realtors will provide you with the service you’re in search of. NextHome Discovery promises to make your real estate experience memorable. We’re reliable, informed, and trustworthy. Don’t just take our word for it either… See for yourself. Contact us today!

Buyer Beware

Tampa Buyers Beware! Wire Fraud Cases on the Rise [VIDEO]

If you are buying a home in Tampa Bay, please watch the video below ( put together by Florida Realtors® general counsel, Margy Grant) as wire fraud is on the rise. These sophisticated hackers watch your emails over time and strike right before you close on your new home. They also, in some instances, hack into the account of  your Realtor®, lender, attorney or closing agent and email you false wiring instructions. The whole time, you are under the impression it is a legitimate email. We must all be vigilant.

Please ALWAYS confirm wire instructions by a phone call to the title company or attorney handling the closing.

Our trade association has also created a Wire Fraud Prevention Notice that your NextHome Discovery sales associate will provide to  you early on in the home buying process to ensure you keep your sensitive data secure and are aware of this increasing problem when it comes time to wire funds at your closing. We want the purchase of your new home to be a pleasant, safe and happy experience – this is just one precaution we are taking to ensure all is secure as you purchase your #NextHome!

Below is an excerpt from the Wire Fraud Prevention Notice and a copy of the form can be found by clicking here: Wire Fraud Prevention Notice.

Never trust wiring instructions via email
Criminals/hackers are targeting email accounts of various parties involved in real estate transactions (e.g., lawyers, title
agents, mortgage brokers, real estate agents). These emails are convincing and sophisticated. Among other concerns,
this has led to fraudulent wiring instructions being used to divert funds to the criminal’s bank account. These emails may
look like legitimate emails from the proper party. If you receive an email regarding instructions that contains any
suspicious information, do not click on any links that may be in the email and do not reply.
Broker strongly recommends that Buyer, Seller, and their respective attorneys and others working on a transaction, refrain
from placing any sensitive personal and financial information in an email, directly or through an email attachment. When
there is a need to share Social Security numbers, bank accounts, credit card numbers, wiring instructions or similar
sensitive information, Broker strongly recommends using more secure means, such as providing the information in
person, over the phone, or through secure mail or package services, whenever possible. In addition, before Buyer or
Seller wires any funds to any party (including Buyer or Seller’s attorney, title agent, mortgage broker, or real
estate broker) personally call them to confirm the information is legitimate (i.e., confirm the ABA routing number
or SWIFT code and credit account number). Buyer and Seller should call them at a number that is independently
obtained (e.g., from this Contract, the recipient’s website, etc.) and not use the number in the email in order to be sure
that the contact is a legitimate party.

 

Below is the video featuring Florida Realtors® general counsel, Margy Grant: