What Every REALTOR® Should Know About Owner's Title Insurance
Make sure all of your clients are protected
You're a real estate agent, so you know that buying a home can be overwhelming for many of your clients. Homebuyers can easily feel confused and frustrated by the mounds of paperwork they have to sign. Plus, all the fees associated with closing can sometimes be a surprise even to an experienced buyer.
Owner's title insurance is one of those items often misunderstood by homebuyers at closing, yet its value is tremendous. As an important advisor to your clients, you are in the position to help them understand the value of owner's title insurance and the dangers that can be incurred without it.
What is title insurance?
Owner's title insurance is a policy that protects homebuyers' property rights. For the same reasons that the bank requires a lender's title insurance policy, a homebuyer obtains owner's title insurance to protect their legal claims to the property.
How it protects your clients
Say, for example, your client recently purchased a new home from a builder, but the builder failed to pay the roofer. Wanting to be paid, the roofer filed a lien against the property. Without owner's title insurance, your client would be responsible for paying this existing debt—meaning they'd be paying the roofer out of pocket instead of purchasing something nice for their new home, like new living room furniture. This is just one example of how owner's title insurance protects homebuyers' from various significant risks. With owner's title insurance, your client would be protected from certain legal or financial responsibilities.
The good news is that owner's title insurance protects homebuyers financially, as long as they or their heirs* own the home. For a low, one-time fee at closing, homebuyers can rest assured, knowing they are protected against unknown defects that could cause financial loss.
State regulations and CFPB
Each state government regulates its own title insurance costs. In addition, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regulates closing and settlement practices which can impact title insurance. Keep in mind that title insurance industry practices vary due to differences in state laws and local real estate customs. The party that pays for the owner's title insurance policy varies from state to state, and sometimes even within a state. For more information about title insurance, please direct your homebuyer clients to www.homeclosing101.org.
Resources for Realtors®
Together, real estate agents, land title insurance professionals and other stakeholders involved in real estate transactions can protect homebuyers and provide them with the peace of mind they deserve during the home closing process.
For more information about title insurance, and to get resources for real estate agents, visit www.alta.org/realtor.
*This advertising offers a brief description of insurance coverages, products and services and is meant for informational purposes only. Actual coverages may vary by state or locality. You may not be eligible for all of the insurance products, coverages or services described in this advertising. For exact terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations, please contact an Old Republic Title representative.
The Old Republic Title Blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. The information in this Blog is intended for general information and educational purposes only. Old Republic Title does not guarantee, and assumes no responsibility for, the accuracy, timeliness, correctness, or completeness of the information herein. Any conclusions readers draw from the information contained herein are their own and are not to be attributed to Old Republic Title. Always seek the advice of competent counsel with any questions you may have regarding title insurance or any other legal issue. The information on this Blog may not be quoted or referred to in any manner without the prior written consent of Old Republic Title, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request reprint permission for any of our publications, please contact us. This website may contain hypertext links to information created and maintained by other entities. Old Republic Title does not control or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this outside information, nor is the inclusion of a link to be intended as an endorsement of those outside web sites.