What’s a Title Search?

It’s a close examination of all public records that involve title (deed) to a piece of real estate. The person conducting the search looks at past deeds, wills, and trusts to make sure the title has passed correctly to each new owner. The examiner tries to verify that all prior mortgages, judgments, and other liens have been paid in full. A title search should uncover potential problems, such as rights others may hold (right of ways, view easements, power line easements, etc.), claims by prior undisclosed heirs, and pending legal actions.

What’s Title Insurance?

A title insurance policy is a contract that protects a consumer against financial losses which could result from title defects or claims against one’s property. There are two types of policies. The owner policy provides protection to the homeowner and the homeowner’s heirs. The mortgagee policy offers protection to the lender and its assigns. The title insurance company agrees to provide the owner and mortgage holder a legal defense of the title if a claim arises. The buyer pays a one-time title insurance premium at closing.

These are just some of the hidden defects that a title insurance policy can protect against:

  • Fraud
  • Forged Deeds
  • Unknown Heirs
  • False Affidavits
  • Unpaid Judgments
  • Unfiled Liens
  • Forged Documents
  • Improperly Indexed Documents

What will my closing costs be when I buy my property?

Home inspection fees: ~ $1000 for a general building inspection. Additional testing may be recommended.
Underwriting: ~ $995
Title Search: ~ $300-$400
Appraisal: ~ $400-$600
Origination: based on loan type/amount
Title Insurance, Lender & Owner: ~.35% of purchase price
Attorney's Fees: ~ $1,000-$1,500
Recording Fees: ~ $200-$400
Prepaids: You may be required to prepay interest on your mortgage, escrows, and seller adjustments.

What will my closing costs be when I sell my property?

Agent Commissions: Typically 5-6% of the sale price
State Conveyance Tax: .75% of the sale price up to $800,000, 1.25% of the sale price between $800,000 and $2.5m, and 2.25% of the sale price over $2.5m.
Town Conveyance Tax: usually .25% of the sale price though some towns charge more
Attorneys’ Fees: ~ $1,000-1,500
Recording Charges: ~$200