Unless you are a seasoned homeowner or real estate investor the title and closing process for buying a property can be confusing and intimidating. After a purchase contract is prepared your real estate broker or lender will inform you that you need to choose a title company for the purchase. There is an endless amount of available choices for this, but choosing the right title company or attorney to handle your real estate closing can make the difference between a smooth transaction and an unnecessary ongoing series of difficulties from start to finish. Most importantly, what every buyer needs to know is that they have the right to choose the title company or attorney to use in their purchase and nobody can require any buyer to use any particular title company or attorney. Below are several factors home buyers and real estate investors should consider when choosing a closing agent.
Your purchase is a significant investment and therefore it is important to have a closing agent with extensive professional experience that has worked on many prior similar transactions. There is too much at stake to trust your purchase with a startup or an unseasoned closing agent. There are so many unanticipated things that can happen during the course of a real estate transaction, so it is important to have a closing agent that has seen and properly handled many different scenarios throughout the years. Many purchasers don’t know that in Florida title companies and attorneys perform the exact same functions in a real estate closing and in most cases their fee structures are identical. By having a Florida real estate attorney act as the title and closing agent purchasers get the advantage of not only extensive professional experience, but also an attorney carefully guiding them through each step of the purchase process.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a title and closing agent is the title company’s or attorney’s reputation. It is imperative that you work with a title company or an attorney that has an excellent reputation in the community and has shown the ability to successfully close numerous transactions throughout the years. Any complaints filed with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation or the Florida Bar should give buyers pause in considering any particular title company or attorney as most likely a very unsatisfied customer took the time to file a complaint after their not so pleasant experience. It’s best for the home buyer or real estate investor to choose a title company or attorney with a clean record and a long list of very satisfied customers whose expectations were more than exceeded.
One additional item to consider is the amount of fees and costs the title company or real estate attorney will charge you for your purchase. There are many different fees involved such as title insurance, title and lien searches, closing or settlement fees and miscellaneous expenses. One of the largest of the closing fees in any transaction is the title insurance. What many buyers don’t know is that in Florida the title insurance rates are contained in the Florida Statutes which means that whatever title company or attorney a buyer chooses is required to charge the buyer the exact same amount for the title insurance. The other closing fees very somewhat from different title companies and attorneys, but generally they are fairly competitive. It is a good idea for buyers to contact any particular title company or attorney they are considering to request that a list of fees or a preliminary closing statement with the title fees be provided for the buyer to review before making a decision on which closing agent to hire. Most reputable title companies and attorneys will provide this upfront to the customer and will honor all of the listed fees at the time of closing without any hidden surprises.
Bales & Bales, P.A. is a Coral Gables, Florida based law firm which handles real estate transactions and acts as title and settlement agent throughout the entire State of Florida. We have closed thousands of residential and commercial real estate transactions for our clients during our firm’s inception in 2005 and our number one goal is to protect our clients throughout all steps of their real estate purchases and to ensure that at the time of closing all of the pieces have been put in place for a smooth and pleasant closing experience. We are available to assist you with your next purchase or sale and to answer all questions you may have regarding the title and closing process.