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
Finding out that your offer on the house you want was accepted brings you one step closer to becoming a homeowner. There are still some things to be done before you get the keys. Here are the steps you must take after your offer is accepted.

8 Things to Do After Your Offer Is Accepted

If you followed our guide to purchasing your first home, you'd probably be interested to know what happens after you find "the one."  Well, you'll need to present a written offer for the house and await the seller's response. If your proposal gets accepted, here's what you need to do next.

Prepare Your Earnest Money

You're meant to present your earnest money once your offer has been accepted. The earnest money is around 1-2% of the home's total cost. You give it to the seller as proof that you will buy their home. The money becomes part of your down payment or closing costs.

Call Your Mortgage Lender

It’s nearly time to get your loan, which means you need to call your lender to begin the financial process. The loan process can take a while, and if it isn’t complete by the closing, you’d be breaching your contract. Best get it started as soon as the seller accepts your offer on their home. When you contact your lender, you’ll have to come prepared with various sorts of documentation and be ready to follow some requirements. The lender will probably ask you to get a home appraisal and to purchase title insurance for the new house. Title insurance protects the lender’s interest in your home in case something goes wrong, and you’re unable to continue with your payments. Learn more about title insurance in Fort Myers and how it can benefit you as well as your lender, by calling Schutt Law- Title Insurance Agency at (239) 540-7007.

Program a Home Appraisal

The home appraisal is part of the mortgage requirements. It will let the lender know the actual value of the property so they can give you an appropriate loan. It’s possible to get less money than what you asked for; it all depends on several factors that the home appraisal considers. Even if the appraisal results are not what you expected, a good credit score will help you get a better mortgage deal.

Schedule a Home Inspection

A home inspection is not a requirement, but it will grant you peace of mind knowing that the house is in good shape. A home inspector will check if the house needs any repairs or if it has any problems that can potentially grow bigger. An inspection will also help you get a better deal. If any minor details need to be fixed, you and the seller can come to an arrangement. You better schedule your home inspection within the first ten days after you receive your sales contract.

Purchase Homeowner's Insurance

Many times it’s the buyer’s responsibility to purchase homeowners insurance before closing. The insurance is another of the mortgage requirements. You will need to present a copy of the insurance policy to your lender so they can approve your loan.

Transfer the Utilities

You don't want to move into a house with no electricity or running water, right? You need to turn on the utilities or have them transferred to your name. If the home has city or town provided water the seller's agent needs to handle that area.

Final Walk-Through

Two days before closing, you’re allowed to do a final walk-through. This viewing allows you to check the condition of the house to make sure it remains the same as the last time you saw it, verify if any renovations were made and if the seller has removed all of their belongings. If you find something different from what you agreed upon, you can postpone the closing and give the seller some time to fix the issue. The final walk-through is your last chance to ask the seller to fix any problems. After closing, any problems that arise are your responsibility.

Closing Time

The day when you become a homeowner has officially arrived. The day of the closing you will sign the mortgage documents and get the keys to your new home. You need to bring your ID with you and cashier’s check to pay for the closing costs. Don’t worry, and you will know in advance how much you need to pay. Just in case the prices end up being different, you have the right to walk away.

Start Your Title Insurance Process in Fort Myers

Don't waste a lot of time before you call Schutt Law-Title Insurance Agency to request your title insurance policy. The insurance process might take some time, and you need it to be done before closing. Call them at (239) 540-7007, and they will do the rest.