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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 heirship
  • Probate 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
Hiring a home inspector can save you from costly repairs and maintenance issues. This article by Stewart: Schutt Law in Fort Myers teaches the benefits and importance of hiring a professional home inspector.

Hiring a home inspector should be at the top of your to-do list if you plan to buy or sell a home. A home inspection comprehensively evaluates a property's condition, including its structural, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. A professional home inspector can identify potential problems or safety hazards, giving you the peace of mind you need before making a significant investment.

Take your time with your home investment. Call Schutt Law in Fort Myers at (239) 540-7007 to learn more about our reliable title insurance services.

What is a Home Inspector?

A home inspector is a licensed and certified professional trained to assess a property's condition. They thoroughly understand building codes and safety regulations and use specialized equipment to examine a property's components. A home inspector will provide a detailed report of their findings, which can help buyers and sellers make informed decisions about the property.

Benefits of Hiring a Home Inspector

Buying or selling a home is a significant investment, and ensuring that the property is in good condition and free from substantial issues is essential. This is where a home inspector comes in. A professional home inspector can comprehensively evaluate a property's condition and identify potential problems or safety hazards. Let’s dive into the benefits of hiring a home inspector:
  1. Identifies Problems: A home inspector can identify potential problems that may not be visible to the untrained eye. They can detect issues like water damage, foundation problems, mold, or termite infestations. Identifying these issues early can save you from expensive repairs or maintenance.
  2. Negotiating Power: A home inspection report can give buyers negotiating power when it comes to the purchase price of a property. If a home inspector finds significant issues with a property, buyers can use this information to negotiate a lower price or ask the seller to make necessary repairs.
  3. Safety: A home inspector can identify safety hazards that could put you or your family at risk. Issues like faulty electrical wiring, gas leaks, or structural damage can be dangerous and even life-threatening. A home inspection can ensure that the property is safe for occupancy.
  4. Peace of Mind: A home inspection can give buyers and sellers the peace of mind they need when making a significant investment. Knowing that a property is in good condition and free from major issues can help alleviate any anxiety or stress from buying or selling.

Ready to take the next step in protecting your home investment? Contact Schutt Law in Fort Myers at (239) 540-7007 to schedule an appointment with our experienced team.

The Importance of a Home Inspection

A home inspection is an essential step in the buying or selling process. It can help buyers and sellers make informed decisions about the property and protect them from unexpected costs or liabilities. A home inspection can also ensure a property is up to code and meets safety regulations. A home inspection can allow sellers to make necessary repairs before listing the property, increasing its value and making it more attractive to potential buyers.

How to Choose the Right Home Inspector

Choosing the right home inspector is crucial to ensure a thorough and accurate assessment of a property's condition. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a home inspector:
  1. Licensing and certification: Ensure your chosen home inspector is licensed and certified. Licensed inspectors must meet specific standards and have undergone training and testing to ensure their expertise.
  2. Reputation and experience: Look for an inspector with a good reputation and experience in the industry. A seasoned inspector can provide a more detailed and accurate assessment of a property's condition.
  3. References and reviews: Ask the inspector for references from previous clients and read online reviews to understand their work. This will give you an idea of their of professionalism, reliability, and attention to detail.
  4. Process and Inspection Report: Ask the inspector about their process and what's included in their report. A thorough inspection should cover all major components of a property, including the foundation, roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. The report should be detailed, easy to understand, and include photos and necessary repairs or maintenance recommendations.
By choosing the right home inspector, you can ensure a more accurate assessment of the property and protect yourself from any costly surprises down the line. So, don't hesitate to ask questions and do your research before making a decision.

Ensure your home investment is protected from potential issues with our top-quality title insurance services. Call Schutt Law in Fort Myers at (239) 540-7007 to learn more today.