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
If your home is really attractive, you might find yourself in a multiple offer situation. How will you be able to tell you’re choosing the best deal? Here are some tips to help you out.

What to Do When You Get Multiple Offers

Last month we talked about what a buyer can do when facing multiple offers on the home they want, but what if it is the other way around? What if you’re selling your house and you receive various offers. It might seem overwhelming and stressful having to choose the best deal. What if you go for the wrong buyer? To help you out, Schutt Law brings you this article with some things you should consider before accepting an offer.

The Highest Offer Isn't Always the Best Offer

When receiving multiple offers, you'll be very tempted to go for the highest option. You'd be getting more money, what's so wrong with that? You need to stop and think of what you agree to by accepting that offer. High offers, especially the ones that go above the asking price tend to come with a lot of requirements. Are you willing to meet them? You also need to consider if the buyer actually has the means to back up their offer. Perhaps they decided to place a bid on your hoping to get a great loan, and ultimately they end up not getting it.  Evaluate your options and listen to your gut.

Rethink the True Value of Your Home

The mortgage lender will require the buyer to get the house appraised to learn the true value of the house before they can give them a loan.  The results of the appraisal might end up being lower than your asking price, so the buyer might not have enough money to pay for your home. Unless the buyer manages to find a way to make up for the difference between the loan amount and their offer, the sale will not get through. You need to think long and hard about your home’s market value before you set an asking price. Home appraisals are not exclusive to home buyers. You can get one yourself to help you set a fair asking price or learn about the changes you can make to raise your home’s value.  To improve your home’s market value, you can start by doing some minor repairs and renovations, working on your curb appeal, or even getting title insurance. Want to know how title insurance can help you sell your home in Fort Myers faster? Call Schutt Law-Title Insurance Agency at (239) 540-7007.

Evaluate the Contingencies

The highest offer is always the most tempting, but what if it comes with a massive list of contingencies? Many buyers think that because their offer is high, they can throw in a lot of demands. Since they’re in a contract, if the seller doesn’t meet them the buyer can choose to cancel the deal. Some of the most common contingencies sellers include in their contract are: waiting until they get approved for a mortgage, or that the house appraises for a certain amount, that the sale is completed only after they sell their own home, or that they need to get a home inspection. Most buyers will require a home inspection. Usually, the inspection is the demand that might cause you more trouble, so if you find someone who is willing to waive off the inspection, they’re probably the best choice

Consider the Closing Period

You want to choose the buyer that best adjusts to your needs. If you need to close within weeks of accepting their offer, it should preferably be done that way. Unfortunately, some buyers may ask you for an extended closing period. If the highest offer comes with this stipulation, you need to consider what is more important to you: money or a quick closing? If you can wait, go for it! But if you need a short closing period, a lower offer that adjusts to your needs is the best choice.

Money Talks

If you happen to receive a cash offer, go for it. Maybe it won’t be as high as other offers, but it just might be the best option. When a buyer is willing to pay in cash, it means there’s no need to wait for a loan approval or a home appraisal. The amount they offer is the amount you will get, and the sale will go by much faster.

Make Your Home Stand Out With Title Insurance

If you’re interested in getting more offers for your home, give the buyers something extra. Consider getting title insurance and adding it as a bonus to the sale. To start your title insurance process all you need to do is call Schutt Law-Title Insurance Agency at (239) 540-7007 and request it.