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

How To Make The Most Of Your Summer Open House

Have you been struggling to sell your home for some time? Are you at a loss as to why you haven’t been able to sell? An open house can be a brilliant way to generate some interest in your property and get the offers rolling it. Events like this can be quite a lot of work, so how do you make the most of your time and effort and ensure that your open house event is successful this summer? It can be difficult to know where to start, but luckily the experts at Schutt Law – Title Insurance Agency have put together this great guide to help you make the most of your summer open house.

Advertise and Get Potential Buyers Through the Door

Advertising your open house is essential so that as many people hear about it as possible. The more feet through the door, the higher the chance of someone making an offer. The internet is a fantastic way to reach a lot of people without having to invest too much time or money. Speak to your real estate agent about their online resources, and consider advertising your open house on free websites that advertise properties for sale. The more information you include, the more likely that people looking to buy will make the effort and take the time to attend an open house event. Remember to include as many photos as possible. These should be high-quality and should clearly show all of the major rooms in your home, as well as any additional features such as gardens or terraces. You can also advertise your open house event in the local newspaper. On the day, you can string up balloons or put up other decorations to alert passers-by to the fact that there is a special event taking place. You never know who might be a potential buyer for your property. So, the more people you invite to the event, the better. Serious buyers will want serious protection for the investment, which means title insurance in Fort Myers. Before you start to receive offers, speak with Schutt Law - Title Insurance Agency at 239 540 7007 to obtain a title search of your title. If any concerns arise, clear them immediately so as not to turn off potential buyers

Improve Your Property’s Curb Appeal

It’s important to ensure that all areas of your property look their absolute best to maximize its selling potential. Often, sellers fail to pay attention to the exterior of their home and may lose out on offers due to the lack of ‘curb appeal’. Make sure that your property looks great from all angles by identifying and correcting ‘areas for improvement.' Painted areas such as doors, window frames or even walls should be updated and re-painted. You should also give some love to the front garden or patio. If you have a lawn that’s seen better days, try covering it with new turf. You can buy this in rolls. It is not expensive and will leave your lawn looking fresh and attractive. Add brightly colored flowering plants to show off your front garden to the maximum.

Inside Your Home

When preparing your home for the open house, remember that the idea is to show each room off to its greatest potential. Put unnecessary personal items and furniture into storage. This will help to make rooms seem more spacious and ‘neutral’, which helps potential buyers to envisage themselves living there. This helps them to form an emotional connection with the property, which in turn encourages them to put in an offer. On the day of the open house, make sure that your property is spotlessly clean, paying special attention to bathrooms and kitchens. Stylish touches such as freshly cut flowers in the living room and soft lighting in the bedroom will make your property stand out from the rest. Make your visitors feel comfortable and welcome by offering snacks and refreshments. If the weather is hot outside, try offering refreshing drinks such as iced water with slices of cucumber, or home-made lemonade.

Finance Applications Mean Title Insurance in Fort Myers

If your potential buyers are using finance to purchase their home, their lender will require a title search and subsequent title insurance in Fort Myers. Before buyers perform this check, speak with Schutt Law - Title Insurance Agency at 239 540 7007 and get a check of your own. If there are any concerns that are reported, be sure to address them immediately so that you can present clear ownership over the title of your home. The last thing that you want is to receive an offer, and then have it taken back because their finance wasn't approved because of a title discrepancy.