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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
After purchasing a home, it's important that you create a checklist of your next moves. From preparing your home to storing documents, learn what to do next with these tips from Schutt Law in Fort Myers.

Get Your Home Ready With These Tips

Before you start moving your items into your new home, there are some crucial steps you need to take. Prepare your home for a more welcoming and peaceful transition so you can focus on enjoying your new space.

If you're buying a new home, you're not protected if you don't have title insurance in Fort Myers. To learn more about title insurance, contact the experts at Schutt Law. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to get your questions answered.

Store Important Documents Properly

During closing, you may find yourself signing a lot of important documents. After doing so, it's super important that you hold onto the ones that belong to the homeowner. These documents may be needed at some point in the future, so storing them somewhere safe that will you be able to remember is a must. Because of this, it's recommended that you store them in a fireproof and waterproof safe in your home or in a safety deposit box at the bank. Before you do that, however, it's a good idea to make some copies you can keep on hand just in case. Scanning them and putting them on the cloud is also a great way to ensure you have easy access to them. Some of the important documents you should store include the mortgage promissory note, deed of trust, the deed, closing disclosure, and the transfer tax declaration if this applies in your state.

Change the Locks for Safety

Before moving into your new home, it's important that you have the locks changed. The old owner of the home will be required to hand over all of the copies they have, but this doesn't guarantee that you're getting all of the keys that exist. They may have forgotten how many people they gave copies of the keys to, meaning there may be more out there. Changing the locks will ensure no one has a copy of the keys and therefore won't be able to walk into your home unnoticed. It's best to get the locks changed so that you feel more comfortable and safe in the home upon moving in.

Get Ready to Deep Clean

Another thing to take care of before moving in is cleaning. Ideally, the previous owners would clean the home, but this probably isn't a priority for them. They may do some cleaning, but not nearly enough. In some cases, the home may have been empty for some time, meaning it'll be dusty and may even have some rodents. To avoid moving into a dirty home that will still need to be cleaned, take a couple of days to do some deep cleaning. This will help you feel more comfortable moving in since you'll know the home is clean how you like it. If the home needs a lot of cleaning, hire a professional team to help you out and make the job more manageable.

Be sure to purchase title insurance in Fort Myers to protect your investment. To learn all about the importance of title insurance, contact the friendly experts at Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.

Know What Needs to Be Fixed

Ideally, the seller should have disclosed what areas of the home need work or maintenance. If not, the home inspection may have alerted you. Whatever the case may be, create a checklist of items that need repairs, maintenance, or upgrades. Plan out when this will need to be done, and take care of the items that are best taken care of before moving in. Fumigating the home, replacing the flooring, or even painting the walls can all be taken care of before your move to make it easier. Things like replacing appliances or yard work can be taken care of at a later time.

Change Your Address

Finally, take care of some paperwork. Be sure to fill out a change of address form at the post office before your move so that you don't miss any of your mail. It's also important to change your address on important accounts like your bank accounts, credit accounts, and insurance policies. Let your workplace know about our move as well as your friends and family.

Protect your home investment with title insurance in Fort Myers. The title insurance experts at Schutt Law can answer all the questions you may have. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to get your questions answered.