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 you're ready to sell your home but don't know how to stage it because it's empty, you have nothing to worry about. These simple tips and tricks can help you get it done on a budget.

How to Stage an Empty House

An empty home may not be ideal if you're trying to sell it, but it may also be unrealistic for some sellers to invest in staging a home. After all, home staging can end up costing a pretty penny. Before giving up all hope, use these simple tips to stage your empty home and sell it in no time.

Fresh Paint

You may not have furniture to stage your home, but the walls will still be there. Since potential buyers have such a clear view of them, be sure these are spotless and looking great. If your home currently has a mishmash of different wall colors, it may be time for a new coat of paint. Since neutral wall colors perform better with potential buyers, it's a great idea to give your walls a fresh coat of a neutral tone. Since neutral tones aren't bold and in your face, they allow potential buyers to have an easier time living in the space and making it their own.

Let in Some Light

The light in a room has the potential to change the entire feel of the space. Turn all of the lights on in the home and make sure all of the light fixtures have lightbulbs in them. After that, you'll want to be sure that your current bulbs give off a warm, soft light that will give your home a more inviting and welcoming feel. Light bulbs that give off a harsh, white light will only make the space look more abandoned, barren, and cold. If you have curtains or blinds up in the home, open these during showings. Sunlight can help to warm up any room, so make the most of the sun when it's out. When you're ready to sell your home, be sure title insurance in Fort Myers is included in your sale. If you're not sure why title insurance is a must, contact the title insurance experts at Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.

Small Touches That Go a Long Way

You may not have a ton to invest in your home's staging, and that's fine. If you do have a small budget for it, use this to gather some small items that make a large difference. You may even be able to borrow some items from friends or family to help you save your budget for other items. Give the kitchen a more welcoming look by adding a vase with fresh flowers to the countertops. Borrow floor lamps from a friend to light up a space that doesn't get much natural sunlight. Hang shower curtain in the bathroom to make it look less abandoned and dreary. These things may seem small and insignificant, but they can make your home look more loved and lived in.

Start With the Curb Appeal

The outside of your home is what makes the first impression on buyers, so make time to fix up the outside of your home. You won't need furniture for this or much more than some time to clean and tidy up. Start by getting your lawn lush and trim since this can impact the overall look of your home's exterior. A lawn that has been taken care of will also look easier to maintain, so potential buyers won't be scared away. Garden areas should also be cleaned up and watered. After this, take a look at your home's light fixtures. Make sure all of the lights work and that your home is well-illuminated after sundown. Repaint your house numbers so that they're clearly visible from the curb and add a fresh count of paint to key items like your front door and the trim around the windows.

Focus on the Main Rooms

If you have a little bit of money to spend on staging, this can take you far. You don't have to stage the entire home, so focus your efforts on the most important rooms in the home. The master bedroom will be important to potential buyers, so get this space looking cozy and inviting. The living room will be another major room potential buyers will want to see. Stage this to look inviting so that potential buyers can picture themselves cozying up in this space. If your budget allows, stage the dining area as well.

Purchase Title Insurance in Fort Myers

Title insurance in Fort Myers is a must for all home buyers. To learn all about the importance of title insurance, contact the friendly title insurance experts at Schutt Law. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to learn more.