Owning a real estate property represents one of the biggest financial commitments you will incur. Once you have closed on the purchase, your property will become an important portion of your wealth.  The closing process implies several tasks and a series of steps that involve every party along the way: the real estate agent, the mortgage broker, the seller, the buyer, the inspector, and sometimes others may take part.

In Florida, once the seller and the buyer are in contract, typically, every step of the purchase process is supervised and facilitated by a real estate attorney or a title company which will prepare all paperwork related to transferring the property and emitting the new title to the buyer.  Also, the Florida Department of Financial Services controls the real estate transactions when an escrow fund has been created for the closing and when title insurance has been purchased.

What is the title?

It is a bundle of rights and serves as evidence of ownership of the real estate, it represents your legal rights in the property’s possession, use, control, and dispossession. It includes all previous ownership, uses, and transfers.

Before the property is legally transferred to the new owner, a title search must be performed to make sure the title is free and secures ownership. Even the most thorough search of the county public records may not reveal certain title defects on the property. For this reason, it is recommended to get title insurance, to protect against the possibility of future loss, should a challenge arise.  

What is an owner title insurance?

It is an insurance policy that protects the homebuyer for the full value of the property and from the following challenges that may occur in previous ownership:

  • Mistakes in the recording of legal documents,
  • Forged deeds, releases or wills,
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs, including spouses,
  • Deeds by persons of unsound mind,
  • Deeds by minors,
  • Deeds executed under an invalid or expired power of attorney,
  • Liens for unpaid taxes, and
  • Fraud.

How long does the owner’s title coverage last?

An owner’s title policy remain in force as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property. The title insurance will protect the title for the buyer.  Before the emission of the title insurance policy, your title agent will check and review any defects such as unpaid taxes, a lien filed by a contractor, an assessment, or any other title defect, a thorough review will be made.  Without the protection of the title insurance, your investment is at risk.

How title insurance protects the owner?

The title insurance protects the owner from claims or rights that another party may have for unsettled claims from the previous property owners, prior the actual purchase.

Why homeowners should get title insurance?

Title insurance is a mandatory part of the mortgage process if the purchase is under a mortgage, the lender will require the home buyer to pay for the lender’s title insurance as part of the mortgage closing costs. If anything wrong appears with the title of the property, the title insurance pays the policyholder for the cost of perfecting your title rights or provides compensation if you lose the property altogether. Unfortunate to say, the record of deeds doesn’t guarantee accuracy in its records-keeping.  

The cost of the title insurance will depend on the amount of the loan, the down payment, and the credit score of the buyer. Remember the title policy never expires, and protects the buyer until he holds ownership of that property.

Are you or your clients looking to buy or sell a property?  Choose to work with an attorney owned and operated title company that can offer the best arrangements, maximum protection, and reasonable rates. Elite Ocean View Title Agency offers high-quality title company services and counts on years of experience. Call us today.

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