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

If it seems like your home has been on the market for too long and it isn't even getting many views, there may be some clear reasons behind this. To get it more attention, use these tips.

Why Your Home Is Still on the Market

If your home has been on the market for a while now, yet it seems like no one is interested in buying it, you may have to reevaluate your listing. Even if you think your home is a great option for anyone, there may be some issues with the way you're advertising it. To help you get your home sold, check out these tips.

Lack of Exposure

When selling a home, you want to be sure that potential home buyers know that your home is on the market. This means employing multiple marketing strategies so that your home gets the exposure it needs to draw in a crowd. If you've only listed your home on some online forums, you may need to do more to ensure it gets noticed. Use traditional marketing strategies along with newer, more high tech strategies. Start by listing your home online, advertising it on social media, and posting it on real estate forums. Along with your online efforts, draw attention to it the traditional way by putting a sign on your lawn. Post flyers around town, on community boards, and ask your friends and family to help you spread the word.

Unflattering Listing Photos

Since most people start their home shopping online, the photos you use to advertise your home are crucial. If your current listing photos are dark, limited to a couple spaces in the home, or simply don't show your home at its best, chances are very few people will be interested, if any. Because your photos have so much power, taking the best photos of your home is an absolute must. Look up some useful tips on how to take great home photos before jumping into it or hire a professional photographer so that you know you'll have great images of your home. Remember to clean and stage your home before starting to take any photos.

Incorrectly Priced

Nothing can scare away potential buyers quite as fast as asking too much for your home. While some buyers may take a risk and offer less than what you're asking for, most will simply move on and look for something that fits their budget. Many sellers make the mistake of overpricing their home because of the sentimental value it carries, but this won't help you at all. To avoid overpricing your home, get to know how to determine the market value of a home and stick to this. If emotions are getting in the way, have your real estate agent help you set a fair price that will interest buyers. Whether you're buying or selling a home, title insurance in Fort Myers must be part of the deal. If you're not sure why title insurance is so important during a home transaction, contact Schutt Law. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to get all your title insurance questions answered.

You Need to Be More Flexible

If you feel like all the power is in your hands because you're the seller, you may run into some issues getting your home sold. Being a seller does give you some power, but you'll also have to meet potential buyers halfway when it comes to certain aspects of the sale. For example, be flexible about when buyers can see the home. If you aren't accommodating to their schedules, your home may never get seen. It's also important that you understand that not everyone will offer the amount you're asking for, so learn how to deal with lowball offers and how to negotiate when a more reasonable offer gets made.

Your Home Could Use Some Work

An emotional attachment to your home may not make it easy to see the flaws in your home, but chances are they are there. Do your best to be honest about the condition of your home and inspect it through the perspective of a potential buyer. If there are things that need to be repaired, take care of some of these before even listing your home. Clean your home thoroughly, make the fixes it needs, and consider renovating certain aspects to make it more competitive in the market.

You Chose a Bad Time to Sell

While it is true that you can sell a home any time of the year, there are some seasons or months when selling is harder. Do your research to figure out when sales are slower in your area and avoid listing your home then. If you're not sure how to go about this, get help from your real estate agent so that you don't waste time or money trying to sell your home at the worst time of the year.

Purchase Title Insurance in Fort Myers

The real estate world can be hard for someone with little experience. One thing you should get comfortable with whether you're buying or selling property is title insurance in Fort Myers.  To learn more about why title insurance is so important, contact Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.