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
Selling your home doesn’t need to be a long and difficult task. Most of the time it’s the seller that makes the task harder because they make some very common selling mistakes. By avoiding these mistakes, their selling experience will go by much more smoothly and successfully. Schutt Law has created this post for you to know the do’s and don’ts of selling your home in Fort Myers.

Don’t Sell If You Aren’t Ready

Perhaps the idea of selling your house came on a whim. Sit down and really evaluate the reasons why you are selling. It’s a very emotional process, there are many memories surrounding your home, and it’s tough to make a decision. If you do decide to sell, make sure it’s for the right reasons and that you can actually afford the new place you’re hoping to purchase. After you’ve made the decision to sell, try to put aside your feelings and see it as a business transaction. Many times we let our emotions cloud our mind, preventing us from making the right decisions. Think of how happy the new buyer will be in their new place.

Don’t Choose the Wrong Realtor

It’s really important to have the right help on your side. A good realtor is one who knows the market area, has a good reputation, knows how to negotiate, and looks out for you. Don’t just pick the first one you meet, ask around. Avoid working with family or close friends unless they are extremely good at it. If trouble arises you don’t want it to affect your relationships. You are paying for their service, so it better be good.

Don’t Overprice

This is a sure way to actually get less than what you planned for. If your home price is higher than similar homes around the neighborhood, less buyers will even consider it. The ones that do will just be looking for something that makes your house better than the rest. If they can’t find that, you won’t be selling your home. Also, when a house has been on the market for long it generates less interest and people think there’s actually something wrong with it. In the long run, you’d be forced to sell it for less than the real value.

Don’t Be Dishonest

Disclosure is something that should always be on your mind when making a sale. It’s very important to let the buyer know any potential defect or background story before the sale is completed. Either way. they’ll find out about it when they have the house inspected. It's better to be honest from the beginning and avoid potential lawsuits. Think of how you’d like to be treated if you were the buyer.

Don’t Be Close-minded

Don’t immediately say no after receiving a low ball offer for your home, you will be closing a door on a possible negotiation opportunity. If a buyer asks for the sellers concessions, don’t discard them right away. Some buyers do require them to make a purchase.  Always review purchase offers with an open mind, consider the positives and the negatives before you come to a decision. Be sure to look into title insurance when you are in the process of selling your home. Title insurance protects you as a seller from possible legal problems after a sale. If you are looking for title insurance in Fort Myers, Schutt Law can help you out with that. Call them at:  (239) 540-7007 to learn more.

Do Make Small Renovations

It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to put more money into renovations when you are selling a house, but there are small cheap things you can do to make your home more appealing. From changing some light bulbs, to a fresh coat of paint, to replacing a faucet, many small changes that make your house look better increase its chances of being sold.

Do Clean and De-clutter

No one wants to go look at a house and be received with a mess. What they want is a clean and open space where they can eventually see themselves living. Before you show off your home, clean it thoroughly and put away excess clutter. People don’t want to see many appliances on the counter or your trophy collection.

Do Have Realistic Expectations

Don’t expect your home to sell just as soon as you list it, it takes time and patience. It’s very likely that your ideal price will not be met and that you will have to negotiate. Be realistic in what you’re expecting from this sale.

Do Be Generous With the Photos

Many people look for houses listed online and what convinces them to see them in person is usually the photos. You should upload many good quality photos that show off details that you consider beautiful in your home. Always use good lighting to make the rooms appear bigger. Use good descriptions of the place, but don’t go overboard with excessively detailed descriptions.

When You Need Title Insurance in Fort Myers

Call Schutt Law, they can help you and protect you as a seller or a buyer in Fort Myers. Call them at (239) 540-7007 to know more about the title insurance process.