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
Buying a new home can turn into a long and stressful process. With this in mind, do your best to ensure you make the best investment possible by asking these questions before making an offer.

What to Ask Before Buying a Home

After a while of searching for a home, you may be desperate to put in an offer when you finally find a home that seems worth your investment. Before you jump in headfirst, remember to ask the home seller some important questions that can ensure the home is actually worth your hard-earned money. Not sure what to ask? Start with these questions.

How Was the Price of the Home Determined?

Pricing a home isn't easy to do. There are a lot of aspects to consider before a seller settles on an asking price. As a buyer, you want to be sure the home is actually worth its price. To do this, ask the seller how they determined what the home is worth. They may have taken into consideration things like the selling price of similar homes in the area, the amenities it includes, the condition of the home, etc. If you think the price is justified by the reasons they give, then putting in an offer isn't a bad idea. If, however, you find that similar homes in the area sold for a lot less or if the home appraisal determines the home is worth less, you may want to try negotiating on the price of the home.

Why Is the Home Being Sold?

In many cases, this question may result in information that is useful to you. However, in other cases, it can be very telling. For example, if the homeowner is being transferred by their employer, they may have a short time to sell. If they're pressed on time, you may have a better chance at negotiating a better offer for yourself. A question like this can also let you know about their moving plans, letting you know if your moving plans coincide with theirs.

How Long Has the Home Been on the Market?

Knowing how long the home has been on the market can be a benefit to you. A home that has been listed for a long time and hasn't sold probably isn't getting much attention or very many offers. This can be an indicator of issues in the home, like structural problems or even an asking price that is way too high. In some cases, the home may be getting attention and offers but the seller is just stubborn and won't budge on any of their selling conditions. If you're looking at a home that has been on the market for a couple of months, use this to try to negotiate on the price or get a better deal for yourself. Once you're sure you've found the perfect home for you, be sure title insurance in Fort Myers is part of your deal at closing. The benefits of title insurance are something you can't pass up. To learn more about them or to get your title insurance policy, contact Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.

What Is the Condition of the Home?

A home may look great, but structurally it can be on the verge of collapsing. Before purchasing a home, ask the seller about the condition the home is currently in. Ask for maintenance records that show it's been well-taken care of and don't be shy about asking for warranties on things like the water heater and other appliances. Having these records will show the home is actually in the condition they claim. Of course, a home inspection will also be necessary before buying the home, so don't just take their word for it.

What Is the Surrounding Area Like?

Finally, ask the home owner about the area in which the home is located. You can start by asking about the community, how close by schools are, what traffic is like, and noise levels. You can also ask about crime rates and the general feeling in the neighborhood. Don't be afraid to get more specific and ask about the neighbors, their noise level, and interaction. Since you'll be living in the home and be a part of the neighborhood, you want to be sure you'll be comfortable in the home and the neighborhood.

Get Title Insurance in Fort Myers

Once you're ready to close on the home of your dreams, be sure to get title insurance in Fort Myers to secure your investment. Learn all about the benefits of title insurance by contacting the title insurance experts at Schutt Law. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to learn more.