Phone: 239.540.7007
Real Estate
Home Closing 101
Do you know what to expect on closing day?
Most people don’t. And that can lead to some uneasiness. But help is here. The American Land Title Association, or ALTA, has created a website featuring information every homebuyer can use to help familiarize themselves with the closing process before walking into the closing
The Home Closing 101 Site
At Home Closing 101 you will find information you can use to prepare yourself for closing. The site covers topics such as title insurance, escrow fees and closing costs. So when the time comes to sign on the dotted line you’ll feel fully prepared.

Home Closing 101 is especially helpful for first time buyers. Buying a house is an exciting time and the more you know about the process, the more relaxed you’ll be going through it. Spend a little time on the site and you can walk through the home buying process, receiving explanations for each step and helpful hints on how to find the right people to help you on your journey to homeownership.

Click here to start learning about the home buying process.
What Is American Land Title Association (ALTA)?
Founded in 1907, ALTA is the national trade association and voice of the title insurance industry. ALTA members search, review and insure land titles to protect home buyers and mortgage lenders who invest in real estate.

ALTA members advocate safe and efficient transfer of real estate and insist on high standards when searching land title records and preparing insurance documents. The industry seeks to eliminate risk before insuring, which provides homebuyers with the best possible chance of avoiding land title problems. But, title difficulties can and do occur, and members offer both Owner’s and Lender’s title insurance policies as effective safeguards.

Click here to visit the ALTA website.
About Stewart Title Insurance
Stewart (NYSE: STC) is a leading provider of real estate services, including global residential and commercial title insurance, escrow and settlement services, lender services, underwriting, specialty insurance and other solutions that facilitate successful real estate transactions. Stewart offers personalized service, industry expertise and customized solutions for virtually any type of real estate transaction, through our direct operations, network of approved agencies and other companies within the Stewart family. Through a focus on integrity, smart growth and conservative management, Stewart remains committed to serving our customers, innovating and improving to meet their needs in an ever-changing market. 

Please click on the link below for more information:
Owning real estate is one of the most precious values of freedom in this country. You want the assurance that the property you are buying will be yours. Other than your mortgage holder, no one else should have any claims or restrictions against your home.

Title insurance is issued after a careful examination of the public records. But even the most thorough search cannot absolutely assure that no title faults are present, despite the knowledge and experience of professional title examiners. In addition to matters shown by public records, other title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search. Title insurance eliminates any risks and losses caused by faults in title from an event that occurred before you owned the property.

Title insurance is different from other types of insurance in that it protects you, the insured, from a loss that may occur from matters or faults from the past. Other types of insurance such as auto, life, or health cover you against losses that may occur in the future. Title insurance does not protect against any future faults, but does protect you from risks or undiscovered interests. Another difference is that you pay a one-time premium for a policy that remains effective until the property is sold to a new owner - even if that doesn't occur for decades.
What is a Lender's Policy?

A lender's policy, also known as a loan policy or a mortgage policy, protects the lender against loss due to unknown title defects. It also protects the lender's interest from certain matters which may exist, but may not be known at the time of the sale.

This policy only protects the lender's interest. It does not protect the purchaser. That is why a real estate purchaser needs an owner's policy.
What is an owner's policy?

An owner's policy protects you, the purchaser, against a loss that may occur from a fault in the ownership or interest you have in the property. You should protect the equity in your new home with a title policy.

What does an owner's policy provide?

- Protection from financial loss due to demands that may be charged against the title to your home, up to the cost of the title policy.
- Payment of legal costs if the title insurer has to defend your title against a covered claim.
- Payment of successful claims against the title to your home covered by the policy, up to the cost of the policy.
Why the seller needs to provide title insurance?

Any purchaser will need evidence that his investment in your property is free of title defects. The title insurance policy that you provide the purchaser is a guarantee that you are selling a clear title to your real estate, unencumbered by any legal attachments that might limit or jeopardize ownership. It will reassure your purchaser that he or she is protected from any risks or losses and could help you close your deal.
Why the buyer needs title insurance?

Without title insurance, you may not be fully protected against errors in public records, hidden defects not disclosed by the public records, or mistakes in examination of the title. As a result, you may be held fully accountable for any prior liens, judgments or claims brought against your new property. If this should occur, your title policy insures that you will be defended at no cost against all covered claims up to the amount of the policy.
How much does title insurance cost?

The insurance commission approves and controls the premiums for title insurance policies. The premiums are paid only once and the cost depends upon the purchase price of the property and the policy amount must be equal to the purchase price.
What does title insurance protect from?
  • Fraud
  • Adverse possession
  • Rights of divorced parties
  • Deeds by minors
  • Undisclosed Heirs
  • Errors in tax records
  • False affidavits of death or heirshipProbate matters
  • Deeds and wills by persons of unsound mind
  • Conveyances by undisclosed divorced spouses
  • Forfeitures of real property due to criminal acts
  • Deeds by persons falsely representing their marital status
  • Documents executed by a revoked or expired Power of Attorney
  • Defective acknowledgements due to improper or expired notarization
  • Mistakes and omissions resulting in improper abstracting
  • Forged deeds, mortgages, wills, releases and other documents
  • False impersonation of the true land owner
Mortgage lenders require a home appraisal before handing out a loan. There are many elements that are taken into consideration by the appraiser, elements that can increase or decrease the value of your home.

What Appraisers Look for in a Home Appraisal in Fort Myers, FL

If you’re thinking of selling your house, you probably don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for someone to tell you what the house is worth, but having a home appraisal can be beneficial. Among the many expenses involved in selling a house, a home appraisal can help you decide what your home’s selling price should be. Although it would be great to just decide on your own, your potential home-buyers will most likely be taking out a mortgage loan and their loaner will need justification of the home’s price.  Better set a reasonable price at the beginning of the sale so it can go faster. Schutt Law-Title Insurance Agency brings you this post so you can learn what’s considered in a home appraisal.

What is a Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of a house’s value. An appraisal determines whether the home’s selling price is appropriate to the home’s condition, location, and features. If the owner is having the place refinanced, the appraisal will assure the lender that they aren’t lending the borrower more money than the actual value of the house. Since the house serves as a collateral for the mortgage, the lenders need to be sure that they are not lending more money than necessary. An appraisal, just like title insurance, allows the bank to protect itself against lending more money than in might be able to recover in case something goes really wrong. Another requirement loaners have to protect their interest is that you purchase a title insurance policy. While the appraisal can result in a home with high market value, you never know if there is any lien that might stop you from acquiring it. Go ahead and call Schutt Law- Title Insurance Agency at (239) 540-7007 to learn more about title insurance in Fort Myers and begin your insurance process.

What’s Considered in a Home Appraisal?

The Local Market

The major thing home appraisal considers is the local real estate market. As the market changes, home prices may rise or fall, appreciating or depreciating home values. You should prepare for the possibility of smaller price than you expect, it all depends on the real estate market.

Similar Homes

A lot of your home’s value relies on the selling price of homes similar to yours. Many real estate appraisers use a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to compare the prices of recently sold homes in the area. They take into consideration the type of house, number of rooms, and square footage. In case the comparable values were to drop, the seller can take into consideration the following elements to make necessary renovations which may increase the home value.

Structural Issues

Appraisers are trained to easily notice any structural issues. While a home inspection may be able to tell you what basic infrastructure needs to be corrected before selling the house, a home appraisal may give you even further insight. The appraiser checks the construction materials. For instance: a house with bricks is valued highly because of it insulation and long-term wear. If you’re looking onto improving your home’s value, repairing gaps between the foundation, adding insulation between outer and inner walls, and painting the exterior can do the trick.


Some houses last longer than others, because they were better constructed. Another element appraisers consider is how well a home ages. The main thing is how well the property has being cared for, and that can be seen by how well the house is aging. Simple projects like fixing damaged drywall, polishing wood details, or painting the walls can factor into the valuation. Age and design are not as important as how well a house compares to other similar houses. If you own an older home you don’t have to worry about it being compared to a more modern home. Still if your house is older, you should try to make it the best looking, most well-cared home in the block. You can’t change a home’s layout, but you can make some update’s to its appearance.


You’ve probably already heard about the importance of curb appeal to potential home buyers. Curb appeal is also considered by appraisers, they take into consideration how the house looks compared to other homes in the area. If you’re looking to raise the value of your home and get a better appraisal number, make an effort to work on your landscaping. Even small details like adding plants, a new mailbox, and cleaning up the area can make a real change.

The Neighborhood

Professional appraisers consider the neighborhood where the house is located. They consider the access to transportation nearby, schools, shopping areas, and the prices home recently sold around the area have gone for. Vacant lots and condemned properties close by are also considered, same with road access in rural areas. Even how the houses neighboring yours look affect your home appraisal.

Title Insurance in Fort Myers

After the home appraisal you need to get in touch with Schutt Law-Title Insurance Agency. Title insurance is another requirement the lender will probably ask for as it will be used to protect their interests as well. You can call them at (239) 540-7007 to begin your title insurance process.