When the time comes in a real estate transaction that the title is to be conveyed, the title agent may double as title closing agent. The closing is where the seller turns over the property to the new buyer and the closing agent facilitates the transfer.
This is in addition to the main job of the title company, that of conducting title searches from public records on the property to insure there are no defects. These defects might include unpaid taxes, a second mortgage, judgments or special assessments against the property or even forged documents used in past transactions.
Buyers need title insurance to protect them from any defects that are identified after closingr, having been a part of the property’s history, but undetected in the title search. Mortgage lenders require title insurance before they loan any money to the buyers. The title search and subsequent issuance of title insurance is the
primary job of the title agent and title company.
At the closing
But, if called upon, title companies will send their title agents to act as title closing agents. At the closing when the real estate actually changes hand, the title agent will disburse the funds held in the escrow accounts and close them out, including any service fee due the title company (these fees are separate from the payment for
the title insurance itself.) The agent will also help with the aforementioned collection and disbursement of funds. The title agent will lend a hand at whatever task is necessary at closing, including answering any last-minute questions.
Escrow companies, attorneys, lenders, and brokers all can conduct real estate closings as well, but in many places title company employees are used as title closing agents because they provide quality closing services and the parties involved have likely met and trust them. The party that traditionally chooses the closing agent is dependent on the county in which the subject real property is located,
either with or without the recommendation of their real estate agent or broker.
For more information on the role of title agents at closing, visit www.homeclosing101.org