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
Open houses may seem a bit dated, but they still offer a great way to get your home noticed by potential buyers. To host a successful open house, check out these tips.

How to Host a Successful Open House

If your home has been on the market for a while, you probably already know how time consuming the selling process is. If it feels like it's dragging on forever, an open house may be able to speed things along. During an open house, many potential buyers can see your home during hours set by you, so it's a great option for all. To host a successful open house, check out these tips.

What Is an Open House?

An open house is basically an event when you, the home seller, open up your home to multiple interested buyers. Instead of setting up appointments and getting your home ready before every showing, an open house allows you to pick a day and set some hours during which interested buyers can show up and check out the house. Not only does this save you time and reduce the stress of scheduling appointments, it can also benefit you in another way. If you tell potential buyers that there is tons of interest in your home, they may not believe you and may think this is just a selling tactic. However, if they show up to your own house and see that they do have quite a bit of competition, they will make an offer more quickly. To make your open house a success, use he following tips.

Prepare a Property Description Sheet

Potential buyers who show up to your open house already have an interest in your home, but this doesn't mean they know everything about it. They may have some basic questions regarding things like square footage or special features. To avoid having to answer these questions 500 times during your open house, create a property description sheet that you can hand out to buyers as they arrive. This sheet should include basic information like the property address, the asking price, a brief description, the number of bedroom, the number of bathrooms, included appliances, square footage, your contact information, and anything else that is relevant.  Have copies of this sheet ready to hand out to buyers and be prepared to answer more specific questions.

Advertise Your Event

If you want people to show up to your open house, you have to let them know it's happening. You can use multiple advertising methods to get the word out, from traditional methods to newer methods. Traditional methods include posting a sign in your yard, posting flyers around town, and word of mouth. Newer methods you can use include posting online flyers in real estate forums or on social media. Using a combination of methods will ensure you reach a larger audience. Don't forget to ask your friends to share your social media posts or to pass on the information to their own friends for a wider reach.

Before buying or selling a home, be sure you understand the importance of title insurance in Fort Myers. If you're not sure what it is or what it's for, the title insurance experts at Schutt Law will be happy to help. Give them a call at (239) 540-7007 to learn all about it!

Prepare Your Home

As you prepare for your open house, don't forget to also prepare your home to impress, after all, that's what the buyers are there to see. If you've hosted home showings before, use the same approach that you used to prepare your home then. This means deep cleaning, decluttering, and staging. It may help to check out some interiors magazines or blogs to get some inspiration. Don't forget to take out the trash, make the beds, and wash your dishes before any of your guests arrive.

Greet Your Guests

Now that your home is ready, it's time to wait for your guests to show up. As you wait, get into host mode. Be prepared to greet your guests as the door and have some snacks and beverages ready to welcome them. You can offer to show your guests around and answer their questions. Do your best to make them feel comfortable and at home. It's always a good idea to ask for feedback just in case you need to host another open house in the future.

Purchase Title Insurance in Fort Myers

If you are finally going through the closing process, don't forget to include title insurance in the sale. To learn all about the importance of title insurance, call Schutt Law at (239) 540-7007.