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 soon as you announce you're ready to purchase a home, everyone around you will have some advice to share. Since a lot of the advice you get won't be great, weed out the bad advice using these tips.

Bad Home Buying Advice You Shouldn't Listen To

When buying your first home, the whole process can be overwhelming. In most cases, your friends and family will have tons of advice to share with you to make the process easier. As well-meaning as they are, some of their advice may not be the best. To help you decide what advice to ignore, check out this list of bad homebuying advice.

Buy the Biggest House You Can Afford

As great as a huge home sounds, this isn't always the best option. With that in mind, just because you can afford a huge home doesn't mean you should buy one. Yes, a huge yard looks great but it can also be very hard to maintain and the price of maintenance tasks can really add up. The same goes for inside the home. Having tons of unused space in your home may not sound like a huge deal, but think about how much more you'll end up spending when cooling or heating your home. Unless you have plans to grow your family or move your business into your home, go for an option that makes sense for the amount of space you and your family need.

Don't Use an Agent

Buying a home can be very pricey, so it makes sense that you're trying to save money where you can. Because of this, you may think that a buyer's agent is a luxury you shouldn't spend on. In reality, an agent can make the home buying process much easier and can help you save valuable time and money. Since agents are well connected, they can help you find more home options that fit your budget faster than you ever could on your own. In fact, they may learn about homes before they're even listed, giving you a leg up on the competition. On top of this, an agent can help you with the technical side of it all, including legal paperwork and making an offer.

Start With a Lowball Offer

Everyone is trying to get the best deal possible, so it makes sense that many buyers think to start with a lowball offer. Your offer may not be serious and you may be planning to offer more as you start to negotiate with the seller, but this may not happen. A lowball offer can be seen as offensive and the seller may think you're not serious about purchasing their home at a fair price. If this is the case, they may discount your offer completely and not want to do business with you at all. If the home has gotten other offers, your lowball offer will certainly not get any attention. When you're ready to purchase your first home, be sure title insurance in Fort Myers is included in your deal. There are tons of benefits you can reap with title insurance, so there's no reason to try and get out of it. To learn more about these benefits, contact Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.

Skip the Home Inspection

If anyone advises you to skip the home inspection, definitely don't listen to their advice. Yes, a home inspection can cost you, but if the home isn't in the condition the seller claims then it can actually save you from making a bad purchase. A home can look perfect but be hiding tons of issues just beyond its aesthetic appearance. A home inspection will bring these issues to light. You can get estimates for repairs and decide if the home is still worth what you'll be paying. You can even use the inspection results to negotiate further with the seller. They may be willing to take care of some of the repairs or even lower the price of the home.

You Don't Need Title Insurance

When buying a home, title insurance is an absolute must. When you get a title insurance policy, a title search will be run just to make sure there are no clouds in the title. If there aren't any issues, then you'll feel more at ease moving into the new home. The best part is that with a one-time payment, your title insurance will continue to protect your rights to ownership even if any issues come up years down the line. As long as you continue to be the owner, your policy will protect your financial investment.

Get Title Insurance in Fort Myers

Before you close on your new home, be sure you have title insurance in Fort Myers protecting your investment. To get your title search started, contact the experts at Schutt Law. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to learn more.