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
What happens when you're ready to make an offer only to find some other buyer is ready too? Should you let it go and look for another place? There's still hope for you to get it! Here are some tips.

Don't Give up On Your Dream Home

We've already told you about some of the reasons why offers can get rejected, maybe your offer was really low, there were too many contingencies, or there was a better option for the seller.  Perhaps your proposal hasn't been rejected, but it hasn't been accepted either. Why is that? This can happen if there are multiple offers placed in the same house, the seller might need some time to evaluate their options. Luckily, there are some strategies you can try to convince the seller to go for your bid. Schutt Law-Title Insurance Agency brings you some of them.

Get Your Pre-Approval Letter

If you've already been to a mortgage lender and you're now pre-qualified for a loan, that's great! But pre-qualification just gives you an idea of how much you can borrow, pre-approval, on the other hand, gives you a much more precise amount. A pre-approval letter basically lets the seller know you have (or will have) the means to back up your offer. By being pre-approved for a loan, your chances of swaying the seller your way are higher.  Mind you, mortgage lenders also ask for plenty of requirements in exchange for a loan. You'll be asked for a home appraisal and title insurance to protect their interests in your home,  Call Schutt Law a   (239) 540-7007 to begin your title insurance process in Fort Myers. That's one thing you can easily cross out of your mortgage requirements' list.

Offer More Earnest Money

There's always a risk that one of the parties involved in the buying/selling process will back out of the deal. A seller might accept an offer only to have the buyer change their mind at the last minute. The seller might be left with no more interested buyers. If you mean serious business, you should consider increasing your earnest money. The earnest money is usually 1-2% of the total purchase prices. The seller receives this money once they accept an offer. If you choose to give more than that percentage, you will prove you're a serious buyer. The funds will later be applied to your down payment and closing costs. Meanwhile, it will help the seller with their expenses involved in selling their home.

Reduce Your List of Contingencies

No one wants to deal with a buyer who has many demands, even if they do offer the most money. You can have the lowest offer and still get the house if you keep your list of contingencies short. You can choose to forgo a home inspection and accept the house as it is, although that's not really recommended. The seller won't have to deal with any repairs and renovations because they will all be on you. Learn about the most commonly accepted contingencies so you can draft a better offer.

Make a Personal Connection

Sometimes all a seller needs is to know that their home will be in good, loving hands. An emotional connection can be a very powerful tool. Write the seller a personal letter expressing your interest, your plans, and the reasons why you love their home. A personal connection might just be the reason why you get the house.

Be the Perfect Buyer

Present the best possible offer since day one; be the perfect home buyer. If you're flexible and accommodating to the seller's needs such as a longer or shorted closing period and lowering your requirements, you might become the best option. Ask your agent to find out exactly what the seller wants and try to provide it.

Pay in Cash

Cash usually is king. Many sellers prefer an offer that's presented in cash, even if it's lower than others. Cash means not having to deal with multiple inspections or having to wait for the buyer's loan to go through. If you're able to make your offer in cash, do it. Here are some of the benefits of buying in cash. Other than raising your chances of getting the house, you can also receive discounts in other areas.

Don't Think About Other Offers and Get Title Insurance in Fort Myers

Stop worrying about other offers. You can't change them anyway. Just try to relax and wait for the seller's decision. When your offer does get accepted, don't take too long before you call Schutt Law at  (239) 540-700 and request your title insurance policy.