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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 heirship
  • Probate 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
Large property maintenance is critical to the upkeep of commercial and residential properties. Learn about the key aspects of maintaining your property in this post by Stewart: Schutt Law in Fort Myers.

Maintaining a large property is no small task, but it is critical to the success of any business or organization that operates within it. Proper maintenance can help prevent damage to the property, reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, and ensure that the property remains functional and appealing to tenants, customers, and visitors. Keep reading to learn more about large property maintenance.

Call Schutt Law in Fort Myers at (239) 540-7007 to learn more about title insurance and the excellent title services we have to offer.

Focus on These Maintenance Areas

There are many different areas to consider when talking about large property maintenance. Some of the most important include:

Building and Structural Maintenance:

Regular inspections of the building's foundation, walls, roof, and other structural elements are essential for identifying any damage or wear and tear. Building and structural maintenance may include:
  • Regular inspections of the foundation to identify any cracks or shifts that could compromise the building's structural integrity.
  • Checking walls for signs of damage or deterioration, such as cracks, peeling paint, or water damage.
  • Inspecting the roof to identify any leaks, damaged or missing shingles, or other issues that could lead to water damage or structural problems.
  • Identifying and addressing any issues with windows, doors, and other exterior elements that could affect the building's energy efficiency or security.

Electrical Maintenance

It's important to maintain the electrical system in a property to keep it safe and functioning properly. To achieve this, there are several key aspects of electrical maintenance that should be kept in mind.
  • Regularly inspect the electrical system to identify outdated or malfunctioning components, such as wiring or circuit breakers.
  • Checking for any overloaded circuits or other electrical issues that could cause a fire or damage to appliances.
  • Maintaining electrical systems to ensure they are up-to-date and compliant with local codes and regulations.
  • Identifying and addressing issues with lighting, outlets, and other electrical elements that could affect the property's functionality or safety.

At Schutt Law in Fort Myers, we specialize in title services, including title insurance. Call us at (239) 540-7007 to learn more and ensure a smooth real estate closing process.

Plumbing Maintenance

Proper plumbing maintenance prevents leaks, clogs, and other issues leading to water damage or health hazards such as mold growth. Regular plumbing maintenance includes:
  • Inspecting and maintaining the property's pipes, including identifying any leaks or corrosion that could cause water damage or reduce water pressure.
  • Checking the property's drains, including sinks, tubs, and toilets, for any clogs or backups that could cause flooding or other water-related issues.
  • Maintaining plumbing fixtures, such as faucets and showerheads, to ensure they function correctly and efficiently.
  • Identifying and addressing issues with the property's water heater, such as leaks or outdated equipment.

HVAC Maintenance

Regular HVAC maintenance can keep the heating and cooling systems functioning efficiently, reducing energy costs and increasing occupant comfort. HVAC maintenance may include:
  • Regularly inspect the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to identify malfunctioning components or outdated equipment.
  • Checking for any issues with the ductwork or ventilation system that could affect indoor air quality or occupant comfort.
  • Replacing filters and cleaning coils to maintain the system's efficiency and prevent breakdowns.
  • Identifying and addressing any issues with the system's thermostat or other controls that could affect occupant comfort or energy efficiency.

Landscaping and Exterior Maintenance

The way a property looks on the outside is what visitors and tenants see first. Keeping the exterior of the property in good shape can make it look more attractive, draw in new tenants, and make the experience better for people who already live or work there. Here are some things that can be done to maintain the landscaping and exterior:
  • Regularly maintain the property's landscaping, including mowing lawns, pruning shrubs, and trees, and planting flowers or other vegetation.
  • Maintaining parking lots, sidewalks, and other exterior elements to prevent damage or hazards to visitors or tenants.
  • Cleaning the property's exterior, including power washing walls, windows, and other surfaces, to remove dirt, grime, and other debris.
  • Ensuring signage is well-maintained, visible, and in compliance with local regulations.

Working with Professionals

Large property maintenance is a challenging task that requires the skills and expertise of professionals. A professional property maintenance team can help ensure your property remains in excellent condition, reducing the risk of costly repairs and legal issues. By working with experienced professionals, you can rest assured that your property is in good hands and that you are taking the necessary steps to protect your investment.

Don't leave your real estate transactions to chance. Call Schutt Law in Fort Myers at (239) 540-7007 for advice from experts on how to best protect your large property investment.