ESCROW AND TITLE SERVICES
In addition to our legal services, Anderson & Brodersen, P.A. has an Escrow and Title Department for residential and commercial property sale transactions. Barbara J. Trawinski, the Escrow Transaction Coordinator and licensed Title Agent, has over 30 years experience in the escrow and title industry. As an Escrow Transaction Coordinator and Title Insurance Agent, Barbara oversees all escrow closings working closely with Sellers, Buyers, Realtors and Lenders to ensure the closing deadline is met.
If you are selling your home without a Realtor our attorneys can help draft, review and/or negotiate the Purchase Agreement to protect your interests. It is advisable for any party to a real property sale transaction to have the Purchase Agreement reviewed before it is signed and becomes a binding contract.
The Escrow/Closing Process
In a real property purchase or sale transaction, an escrow is opened. The escrow process is often referred to as “the closing”. The escrow officer receives the executed purchase contract and earnest money deposit and begins collecting and reviewing all required due diligence documents, including a preliminary title report. Once the parties are ready to close, a settlement statement is prepared showing funds received, all costs required to be paid, and how funds are to be disbursed. All funds are held in an escrow trust account until closing. Loan documents, prepared by the Lender, are executed.
During the course of escrow the escrow agent will order a preliminary title report. This report is based on a search of public records for existing deeds, liens, easements and other possible encumbrances on the real property being sold. Each item of record needs to either be approved or removed from title so the owner receives “clean title” at closing. If an existing mortgage is to be paid with loan proceeds, this will be paid by escrow as part of the closing process and will be clearly listed in the settlement statement. The settlement statement is required by law and is referred to as the CD/HUD1.
There is a lot that happens behind the scenes at the escrow office. Once the transaction has closed, the escrow officer forwards payment to any existing lender, pays all parties who have performed services in connection with the closing, pays out any net funds to the seller, and orders a final search of the title to the real property before recording all the documents needed to transfer title to the new owner’s name. These are post-closing items handled by our escrow department. Once the escrow documents are recorded, the final Owner Title Policy is ordered and reviewed.
There are two types of title insurance policies. One is the Owner’s Policy and the other is a Lender’s Policy. The Lender Policy is typically based on the amount of lender’s loan.
The purpose of the Owner’s Policy is to protect the new owner if, after the purchase is completed, a title issue arises that was not or could not be found in the public records. The Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance insures the interest of the new owner against most unforeseen issues. The amount of the Owner’s Policy is typically the amount of the purchase price of the real property. The Owner’s Policy is valid as long as you own the real property. The title company issuing the Owner’s Policy is required to resolve any issues and will cover any legal costs if the matter needs to be resolved in court. The one time policy fee is paid at closing.
If refinancing, a new or updated title policy will be required by the Lender and the Owner’s Policy should be updated as well although this is not a requirement for the owner.
Anderson & Brodersen, P.A. has worked with Realtors in the St. Petersburg area for many years. We value our Realtor relationships which are a vital part of our business and we work with them to ensure escrow gets closed in a timely manner. We understand that when they choose an escrow company they want one they know they can trust to meet the closing deadline. For that reason, you will find our reputation is one of professionalism and expertise that not only resolves issues, but anticipates them. We are responsive, proactive and friendly. We know what it takes to get to closing. We do it every day.
“I recommend Barbara and the title team at A & B because they can handle everything from FIRPTA, to title defects & trusts all in one step while at the same costs as a typical title company. Atty Tom Brodersen is there to answer questions that arise and my clients appreciate that they are being managed by an established property law attorney.”
Lisa Marie Jerrard, GRI Graduate Realtor, RE/MAX Preferred