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
As you look for a home, you may come across the suggestion to hire a buyer's agent. If you're not sure what this is or how a buyer's agent can help you, check out these informative tips.

What Is a Buyer's Agent and Do You Need One?

Looking for a new home can get exhausting. From looking through endless home listings to visiting tons of open houses, the process can really become time-consuming and stressful. This is where a buyer's agent can jump in and simplify it all for you. Not sure what they do? These tips can help you get informed!

What Is a Buyer's Agent?

A buyer's agent is basically what their title sounds like: they're real estate agents who work for the buyers. These agents will help you look for your dream home and use the resources in their professional network to help you make it through the buying process without too much stress. Some buyers may avoid hiring a buyer's agent because they don't have the budget for it, but if you do have the budget for an agent, they're definitely worth it.

Benefits of Hiring a Buyer's Agent

There are tons of benefits associated with hiring a buyer's agent, especially if it's your first time navigating the real estate world. If you've never bought a home before, then the legal paperwork and real estate jargon can be overwhelming. Luckily, a buyer's agent can make it all much easier and even enjoyable.

Find the Perfect Home

One of the many benefits of hiring a buyer's agent is that they can help you find that dream home you're after. You may be thinking that you can do it all on your own, and you may be right. Finding your ideal home at the price you want it for can happen, but it can take a long time and cause you plenty of stress. With a buyer's agent, however, this can be accomplished much faster. Since your agent is connected to a ton of other agents, they will know about many more listings, some of which haven't even been publicized yet, and get your foot in the door faster. Your agent will ask you questions regarding your budget, square footage, and other details to find the home you're after. This can also be a huge time saver for those who don't have much time to check listings constantly, so it's definitely a win. Once you and your agent have found the perfect home, don't forget to protect your investment with title insurance in Fort Myers. To learn all about the importance of title insurance, contact the friendly experts at Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.

Communication With Sellers

There are plenty of reasons why you may not be excited about communicating with sellers once you've found a great home for sale. Whether you're worried that you don't know what questions to ask or that they'll blow you off, your buyer's agent will be there to ensure this doesn't happen. Whether the seller is using an agent to sell the home or they're doing it themselves, your agent will do the communicating so that you don't have to worry or get frustrated. They will show that you're very interested in the property and they'll know what questions to ask before viewing the home.

Schedule Viewings

Speaking of viewings, your agent will also schedule these for you and can accompany you to them. Let them know your schedule and they'll find a way to fit you into a seller's viewing schedule. On top of this, they can also find more open houses that fit your needs so that you have even more options when checking out potential homes.

Don't Stress Over Negotiations

Negotiations can be a very stressful part of buying a home, especially if you have no experience doing it. Even something as seemingly simple as making an offer can be stressful because you don't know how the seller will react or what other potential buyers are offering. Your agent will have the experience to guide you through all of this and will communicate with the seller so that it all goes well. They can also be a huge help when it comes to legal paperwork so that you're sure everything is in proper order when you're ready to become a homeowner.

Purchase Title Insurance in Fort Myers

Once you're ready to put in your offer, be sure you know about the importance of having title insurance in Fort Myers on your side. The title insurance experts at Schutt Law can help y ou get this all sorted. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to get your questions answered.