What Does The Title Company Do?
This is Deirdre Brown you settlement agent serving the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Today I’m going to answer the question of what does the title company do.
Once the buyer or selling agent has provided us with the ratified contract we open up title or basically we open up the file in our system. The first thing that we do is to run a title search. This search includes searching land records, bankruptcy court, and local court cases. We check the land records to make sure that the person that signed the contract indicating that they are the seller is in fact the person who has the right to sell the property. We are also checking to make sure that there are no unreleased liens on the property and if there are liens that need to be paid off that we’re collecting the funds to pay them off at settlement. We also contact the HOA association and the condo association, if applicable, and we make sure that those dues are paid current. We will check with the office of tax revenue to make sure that the taxes are paid currently. In the District of Columbia and in Maryland water and sewer service are a lien on the title so we are also responsible for paying the open water bill, and collecting a water escrow at settlement so that we can make sure the final water bill is paid and the water account is transferred to the new owner.
One of the major things that we do is make sure the property is insurable and we issue title insurance. If there are issues found in the title search report we work with the parties to fix the issues so that we can transfer a clear title to the buyer. We are responsible for issuing the seller’s closing disclosure statements. The buyers closing disclosure statement is issued to the buyer by their lender. However, we do work with the lender to make sure they have the correct title-related fees to put on the buyer’s closing disclosure statement.
Finally, we go to closing where we are responsible for making sure all of the documents are executed properly. After settlement, our job is not done. We also act as an escrow company so we are responsible for collecting funds and disbursing the funds based on the settlement statement. We are responsible for the recording of the deed, the deed of trust any other documents that need to be recorded in the land record. As you can see the title company is an integral part of the real estate transaction. If you have any title-related questions please reach out to us at lexicontitle.com.