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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
The closing process is the last step when buying a home. Learn what you can negotiate and what to expect during this process in this post by Stewart: Schutt Law in Fort Myers. 

Closing on a home can sometimes feel overwhelming because of the number of steps and processes you must go through. One way to manage those feelings is to know that the primary goal of the closing process is to ensure all parties are satisfied with the deal. Also, the closing process allows you to negotiate some crucial aspects of the purchase. Keep reading to learn more about the closing process and what it entails.

The home closing process can run much more smoothly with professionals by your side. Call Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007 for information on title services and title insurance in Fort Myers.

Reach an Agreement on Necessary Repairs

One of the essential agreements you should reach during the closing process is to determine what repairs need to be done before you seal the deal. These repairs will depend on how much the property needs to be done and how urgent the repairs are. At this point, deciding who is responsible for the repairs is essential. That being said, the seller often won’t be able or willing to invest the time and money necessary to perform repairs. If this is the case, you could subtract the cost of repairs from the final property price. Negotiating skills are essential at this point, so make sure you and your team are ready if it comes down to this negotiation. Negotiation tip: Leave your emotions at the door, be reasonable with your requests, and always remember you can walk away from a deal if you don’t feel comfortable with the terms.

Talk About Additions

Another essential thing to discuss in closing is additional items you would like to add to the deal. If the seller agrees, things like fixtures, appliances, or furniture can be added to the agreement at the buyer’s request. For example, you might want to add a lighting fixture that adds a little oomph to the home’s entryway or some kitchen appliances that fit your aesthetic well. If this is the case, the closing process is the perfect moment to negotiate to add these things to the deal. However, the seller will likely ask for a higher closing price to cover those items.

Discuss Appliance Warranties

Discussing appliance warranties is also essential when negotiating, as it’s a great way to protect the buyer from faulty appliances in the future. The point of having a warranty on them is to cover any expenses like repairs or part replacements that could pop up after you close the deal. When discussing the warranties, it’s also essential to have everything in writing and decide how long the warranty will be valid, what it will protect, and what cost it will cover.

Sometimes, home buying processes can turn complicated. This is where having professionals by your side can be so valuable. For information on services like title insurance and estate planning, call Schutt Law in Fort Myers at (239) 540-7007, and one of their expert agents will help you out in no time.

Negotiate the Final Price

Repairs, additions, and appliance warranties are only the first things you’ll need to negotiate to reach the final price on the property. Remember that the asking price is movable and only a place to start. It can be tricky to set a final price; that’s why it’s essential to have the help of a home appraiser. The appraiser’s role is to look at factors like the property’s condition, the housing market, the property’s amenities, and the neighborhood. This way, they’ll help you land a realistic price for the property. It takes finesse to agree on a final price, but having the correct information (and people) by your side can help the process go by smoothly. Once you’ve reached a final cost, it’s essential to write it down and have it signed by both parties.

Set a Moving Date

As a part of the process, it’s also essential to settle on a moving date. This date will set when the seller should vacate the property and when you’ll be allowed to move in. Having this date can also help you set other plans in motion, like hiring movies, having a set timeline for renovations, and having time to plan in case of unexpected issues or delays.

Determine Who Will Pay Closing Costs

The last piece of the puzzle is paying for closing costs or deciding who will pay them. These costs are associated with the closing process and aren’t a part of the asking price. Determining who will pay for them is an integral part of the negotiation process, including taxes and fees. Usually, these fees are split 50/50, but both parties must reach a fair agreement.

We hope this information makes it easier for you to navigate the closing process. If you have any questions or need professional assistance on title services, call Schutt Law in Fort Myers at (239) 540-7007 today to talk to one of their experienced agents.