Buying a House… Part 7 (The Title Company)
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE STILL UNDER CONTRACT!
Now it’s time for a ton of behind the scenes work done by some really excellent professionals. While you were celebrating your victory over being the winning offer, your real estate agent was in a rush, scheduling the inspection with the inspector of your choosing, delivering the option and earnest money checks to the seller and the title company, and getting copies of the contract to your chosen lender, the title company, and, of course, to you! But now that the inspection report findings have been addressed and negotiated successfully, all of those people kick into high gear.
Let’s start with the Title Company:
The title company goes to work compiling the title commitment which will include details on the history of deed exchanges of the property, information on any liens on the property (mortgages, tax liens, contractors liens, et cetera), and give information on deed restrictions. They are also coordinating with any homeowner’s association that the property may be subject to and getting the details of the HOA’s covenants, creeds, and declarations (it’s rules). You’ll want to read all of this information very carefully because it will impact how you live for as long as you in that home. Make sure you get clarification on anything in the rules and restrictions that is unclear to you. What you don’t know can cost you, either in money, time, mental anguish or all three, if you purchase the property without fully understanding the rules.
“But Emerald, that kind of thing is exactly why I’m moving out into the boonies! No rules outside the city limits, right?”
Wrong. There are always rules, and you need to make sure you know them! It’s your wealth and happiness at stake! The good news, is that now is the time to find out all the rules and restrictions and if you take issue with any of them, or they restrict how you plan to make use of your property, you have the option to dispute them, or find a place that has rules more inline with your intentions! Now’s the time, before you buy it, and time is always of the essence in these things.
I want to take a minute to highlight a VERY IMPORTANT FACT about emails and title companies. Currently, despite excellent efforts to prevent hacking, there are people in the world who are actively trying to ruin your life by stealing your down payment and closing cost money. They are posing as the escrow officer and emailing you from addresses that look remarkably close to your legitimate contact’s email. For example, your contact’s email is Jane.Doe@texastitle.com, that’s the right email for Jane. But the thieves will create an email address that is VERY similar to fool you, like Jane.Doe@txtitle.com. The difference is subtle, and they will likely even use the right logos in the signature, but if someone is giving you wiring instructions for money, ALWAYS CALL YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT TO VERIFY! Your real estate agent will NEVER ask you to wire funds to them or anywhere else because we can’t legally hold money in an account for you. If your agent has a long standing relationship with the title company, they will be able to call them up and find out if the request is legitimate. They can even get you the correct number to the title company to confirm. Why am I losing my mind over this? Because on multiple occasions in DFW in the last few years, people have lost HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS to this scam, and once the money is wired out, you CANNOT GET IT BACK. IT. IS. GONE. Don’t be that person. Be cautious, be careful, be diligent. CALL YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT.
Let’s pause here and we’ll pick up in the next section with the lender!
Once you’re through the negotiation of repairs, it may seem like nothing is happening but a great deal is happening on your behalf behind the scenes. Keep a close eye on your email during this time and if your escrow officer (title company representative handling your transaction) sends you an email about sending money somewhere, ALWAYS call your agent to confirm the details. Read all the documents from the title company as they will likely impact how you live in and use your property going forward. And ask as many questions as necessary to feel you have full understanding of what is going on and what you are buying into.
And, as always, I LOVE what I do and I LOVE talking about real estate, so if you have questions, please ask. Questions give me purpose, and they give me more blog topics too!
EXP Realty LLC, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX