Finding the perfect home can be both an exciting and stressful time. Once you find it, you want to make sure the property is legally available for sale by the current owner without any unforeseen financial surprises. That’s where title searches and title insurance come in. They are an important “behind the scenes” part of the real estate buying and selling process.
What is Title Insurance?
Aside from ensuring a property is legally available for sale, a title search will uncover if there are any liens against the property or any restrictions on the use of it. Title insurance is a policy against loss that results from any claims against the property. Such claims include but are not limited to: forgery, fraud, false affidavits, undisclosed or missing heirs, unrecorded contracts of sale, bankruptcies in other jurisdictions, suppressed or undiscovered wills, power of attorney revoked by death or insanity, claims arising by reason of foreign divorces, erroneous interpretations of statues and rules of law, unrecorded easements, false impersonations, insanity and incompetence, and perjury. Often times, issues like these come to light after the change in ownership, with the new owner being held responsible.
Here are some additional facts about Title Insurance:
- If a claim is made against your property, your title insurance policy will provide you with a legal defense and cover the homeowner for any valid claims up to the amount of the policy (which is usually the purchase price or full loan amount).
- The cost of title insurance can vary based on factors such as the property’s purchase price and the title insurance provider. Title insurance premiums are typically a one-time fee paid at the closing of the real estate transaction. The premium is based on the property’s value, and it covers the policyholder for as long as they own the property.
- Title insurance is required by all lenders in a financed transaction. So, if you are taking out a mortgage or any type of loan as part of a real estate transaction, you will need to get title insurance. In Florida, the payment responsibility for title insurance can vary depending on location as well as negotiations between the buyer and seller, but it is most common for the buyer to pay for the lender’s title insurance policy unless otherwise noted in the purchase agreement.
- Although title insurance is not mandatory in a cash transaction, it is highly recommended for the reasons mentioned so far in this article.
In our experience, the peace of mind and security provided by title insurance is invaluable. If you are purchasing property in the state of Florida and want to learn more about title insurance or any other aspects of the closing process, contact us today. The Law Office of Donna-Hearne-Gousse, P.A. is a full service, attorney-based title insurance company located in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.
The Law Office of Donna Hearne-Gousse