Escrow: The deposit of deed, bond, monies, contract or other written agreements with a third party to be delivered or used only upon performance or fulfillment of set conditions.
What is escrow?
Escrow provides one central place where all funds and documents of a transaction may be deposited. It is a disinterested, independent third party that can perform these services within the limitations of a written contract, which protects both the buyer and the seller.
Why do I need an escrow officer?
The escrow officer is ultimately responsible for the final settlement between the buyer and the seller. The officer handles the recording of required documents, payoff of existing liens or mortgages, and prorating of real property taxes, lease rents, maintenance fees and other property expenses. The officer handles the intricacies of the transaction, providing you with the assurance that your interests are being protected.
What is the escrow process?
A real estate transaction typically requires 30 to 45 days to complete, after a written contract containing all the terms and conditions of the sale of a property is signed by the buyer and the seller. After this contract is established, escrow is opened.
Once escrow is opened, the officer will order a title search of the property and order a payoff statement to establish if there are any liens or encumbrances against the property. The officer will execute the necessary documents to complete both the title and payoff processes. After the conditions of the contract have been satisfied, all funds and documents are disbursed and the property is officially transferred to the new owner.
Marketable Title: Title that is subject to no reasonable doubt as to its validity or freedom from encumbrance and that can be reasonably sold, purchased, or mortgaged.
What is title insurance?
Title insurance is a contract of indemnity that guarantees a property’s title is as reported and recorded. If the title is found to be faulty, the title policy protects the insured for their loss up to the amount of the policy. It provides assurance that buyers are acquiring a marketable property from its true owner and eliminates risks from past defects. Your title policy will pay for defending against lawsuits attacking your title, clear problems and pay losses.
How does Great American offer this level of security?
To achieve this protection, Great American Title Agency performs an extensive search of public records to determine whether any person, other than the seller, has any rights, liens, claims or encumbrances on the property. Once all the rights and claims are clearly determined, a title policy may be issued.
This process also helps ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of their interests before the transaction is consummated. In this way, potential title claims can be resolved before financial losses are incurred.
What are the risks that title insurance protects me against?
- Mistakes in recording legal documents-
- False impersonation of true owners of property
- Forged deeds, release of wills
- Undisclosed/missing heirs
- Deeds by minors
- Deeds by persons of unsound mind
- Deeds by persons supposedly single, but in fact married
- Liens for unpaid inheritance, income, or gift taxes
What types of title policies are available?
There are two kinds of title insurance: lender’s and owner’s.
- Lender’s – This type of title insurance protects the interests of the lender. It is usually purchased to protect stockholders and investors that have vested interests in a lending company.
- Owner’s – This type of title insurance protects the interests of the buyer. It is usually purchased to protect the buyer for as long as they or their heirs have any interest in the property.
Commercial Property Services
Commercial real estate transactions can be especially complicated! At Great American Title, our commercial experts are focused on supporting your commercial transaction, no matter the level of complexity.
Our experts are always available to assist you and offer a wide range of commercial experience, among the following:
- Commercial Short Sales
- SBA 504 and 7A financing
- Bond funding
- Road realignment projects
- Acreage/Vacant land
- Office Buildings
- Forward and Reverse Exchanges
- Carry Back Financing
- Industrial Buildings
- Construction and Permanent Loans
- Utility and Municipal Easements
- Wrap Transactions
- Apartment Buildings
- Retail Centers