Understand the Real Estate Closing

The American Land Title Association
(ALTA) reminds consumers, whether they are a first-time homebuyer or a senior
downsizing their home for retirement, to be prepared for the real estate
closing process.

"Once you find your dream home,
and have an offer accepted by the seller, the countdown to the closing begins,”
says ALTA President Frank Pellegrini. “Timing is crucial in a home closing and
there’s many steps involved that need to be completed. Title searches are
performed, and inspections and appraisals take place; and much more. ”

Depending on where you live,
attorneys, escrow agents or title insurance companies can be involved in the
real estate closing process. ALTA, the national trade association of the land
title insurance industry, encourages consumers to ask a local land title
professional, or their real estate agent, how the closing process is completed
in their state to know what to expect.

“We want the process to go smoothly
as consumers are achieving their ‘American dream’ of homeownership,” Pellegrini
says. “Settlement agents orchestrate the settlement from start to finish with
all the parties involved, including real estate agents, attorneys, loan
officers, contractors and government agencies. It’s important to do your
homework before choosing a title or settlement agent.”

Consumers should contact their state
insurance department or the Better Business Bureau to see if they have any
information on a prospective closing company. Additionally, be sure to find out
if the company is part of its state’s land title association or ALTA as their
members are keeping abreast of state and federal trends and requirements.

“To protect yourself from ownership
issues after the closing, make sure you purchase an owner’s title insurance
policy, in addition to the loan policy. An owner’s policy ensures that the
title to your property is clear of known liens or encumbrances, such as unpaid
mortgages, property taxes or child support liens, just to name a few,” Pellegrini

Source: www.homeclosing101.org


Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.