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Archive for the ‘Title Insurance’ Category

All title companies created equal?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, January 24th, 2013

No, they aren’t. To take this a step further, escrow officers are not all the same either. One of the advantages we have is that we have dealt with every major title/escrow company at one time or another. (in markets we service.) In addition to this, we have worked with countless escrow officers along the way. So what’s the difference?

As you probably already know, the fees vary only slightly. The only exception ($) to this involves binder policies, investor rates for repeat clients, etc… but for your average seller, the difference is service and convenience. Good rules of thumb to follow:

1) Pick a company that is reputable and has multiple offices across your state

2) Pick a company with an office close to your location

3) Pick an escrow officer for whom you have a personal referral from a friend, colleague, or someone you trust.

At the end of the day, you will be dealing with the escrow officer yourself. Your level of satisfaction will be determined by this person. So why do I care as a seller? The escrow officer has the ability to make the transaction become a complete nightmare for you. You want to work with someone that will make the process easier, not more difficult. Choose wisely.

We are available to provide recommendations and referrals upon request. We do not receive any perks/kickbacks/etc… from any title/escrow company or officer. We provider our recommendations solely on the idea that we want your closing experience to be simple and hassle free.

Title Insurance Fees

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, August 20th, 2008


The article above is an interesting read for those interested in Respa and the relationship between Title Insurance, Loan Fees, and so forth. The idea that title insurance and other title fees can be set by the state continues to baffle me. In certain areas, title insurance rates are set by the government. Title companies may not compete with each other on price, only service. As a result, this is why Realtors(R) get bombarded with little gifts from title officers trying to encourage Realtors(R) to push business their way. Another example is during Realtor(R) orientation. The local Association will actually allow Title Reps to come pitch their services to brand new Realtors(R). The problem is that the consumers are the ones paying for these fees set by the govt. (Not Realtors(R)) If Title companies had any interest in better serviving the consumer they would market to the consumer and stop preying on Realtors(R) for business. Secondly, Title Fees should be negotiable, just as Realtor(R) commissions. It only benefits the consumer to open up competition. I happen to think that a reduction in Title Fees would help produce a small jolt to the market. Title Insurance and Fees in many areas can exceed 1% of the purchase price. Furthermore, in states like Texas, you are forced to pay attorney doc fees in the amount of about $350 per side. Not only is the fee not negotiable, it’s completely useless. Lets stop nickel and diming buyers and sellers to death on title fees and we might see more people interested in getting back in the market.

Title insurance in New Mexico

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008


There will be no relief from high cost title insurance for New Mexico homeowners this year. The Albuquerque Tribune is reporting that Gov. Richardson will not put the issue on the legislature’s agenda this year, but will focus on health care.

In states like New Mexico and Texas, the cost of title insurance is regulated. Everyone charges the same thing, and discounts are not available for properties purchased within the last two years, developer policies, re-financing, etc. The costs are set very high compared to other states and compared to what is actually paid out. One ALTA study in 2003 showed that nationwide only 4.3% of what was actually charges was paid out in claims.

Many homeowners do not realize that after the real estate commissions, the title insurance policies are the second most expensive item typically found on a closing statement, and the one that increases proportionate to the price of the home and the amount financed.With increased transaction costs, you create a disincentive to sell or re-finance your property.So in the end, the title insurance might actually benefit from making less money per transaction across more transactions.

Title companies in New Mexico should be allowed to compete on price, just like real estate brokers.