Here are some very common questions and our answers…if you have additional questions or would like more follow up just call us and we are glad to talk.
What is a title?
A title is the foundation of property ownership. It is the owner’s right to possess and use the property.
Why is transferring a title to real estate different from transferring title to personal property?
Real estate is permanent and can have many owners over the years, as well as rights to use the property. In order to transfer clear title to real property, it is first necessary to determine the rights outstanding on the property.
What is a title search?
A title search is a detailed examination of the historical records concerning a property. These records include deeds, mortgages, court records, property and name indexes, taxes and many other documents. The purpose of the search is to verify the property owner’s right to sell or finance the property and to discover any claims or defects to the property.
Should I have a home inspection?
After a Purchase & Sales Agreement has been signed, Buyers have the option of having any of the various standard inspections performed, within a 10-day time period. These tests may include but are not limited to: pest inspections, home inspections, flood inspections and radon tests. It is strongly recommended that you perform all tests available to you in order to better understand the nature of the investment you are about to make.
What is title insurance?
Title insurance is an insurance that is issued by the title attorneys to their clients in order to protect the client’s interests from any title defects that may have arisen prior to the client’s ownership in the property. There are two types of Title Insurance.
Owner’s coverage is an optional insurance, which if elected, is issued to the owners.This coverage is based on the purchase price of the property; this insurance is a one-time coverage and it will protect the owners for as long as they own the property. The owners’ coverage ensures that in the event of a title defect the title insurance company affords the owner with an attorney to defend any title claims that arise.
Do I need title insurance if I’ve had a title search?
Yes. It is recommended that you have title insurance even if a title search has been performed. A title search is a review of all of the documents recorded in the Registry of Deeds of the respective county where your property is located. A title examiner can only review the documents that have been recorded in the registry thus far. In the event that a document is recorded but mis-indexed by the registry, then thy will have no way of finding this document for review. Other potential title defects such as fraud may never be discovered through normal due diligence; therefore it is strongly recommended that you always buy an Owner’s policy for title insurance at the time of your purchase.
How does title insurance protect my investment if a claim should arise?
If a claim is made against your property, title insurance, in accordance with the policy, will assure your legal defense, including paying court costs and related fees. If the claim proves valid, you will be reimbursed for your actual loss up to the face amount of the policy.
What is a Purchase & Sales Agreement?
In order to be a valid and enforceable contract, an agreement to purchase real property must be in writing and need only describe the property generally, contain the terms of sale, provide for a specific closing date and be signed by both buyer and seller.
Among the items to be negotiated in a purchase and sale contract, in addition to the price, are the type of mortgage the buyers will need as a condition of purchasing and how long they will have to obtain a commitment from a lender to provide such a mortgage. Other items include date of occupancy, the type and effect of inspections to be done, and the responsibility for loss in the event of catastrophic damage to the property.
What can I expect at the closing?
All parties attend the closing and sign the Settlement Statement or HUD sheet. The sellers will sign the Deed transferring ownership to the new Buyers and hand over the keys to the property. The buyers are responsible for signing all of their loan documents and for bringing the balance of their down payment to the closing in certified funds. All monies due from the Buyers are paid to the Closing Attorney and the Closing Attorney then makes all disbursements to the Seller for the sale of the transaction.
What is a HUD Settlement Statement?
This is a summary of the financial portion of the real estate transaction. The HUD will list the purchase price, loan amount, closing costs for both buyer and seller and show all pro-rations and sums to be disbursed by the title company to all parties.
What is the pro-ration of property taxes?
This is the process of charging either the buyer or seller for their share of real estate taxes owed on the property for their respective time of ownership. Taxes are said to be “pro-rated” back or forward to the due date of the property taxes.
What is pre-paid interest?
This is interest due from the date of a loan closing to the first day of the following month. Most loans require payments to be due on the first day of the month. Each monthly payment reflects the principal and interest due on the loan for the previous month.
A loan closing on the 20th day of the month will require interest adjustment through the 1st day of the following month. The first payment will then be due on the 1st day of the month following. Interest adjustment is considered a settlement charge and will be disclosed on the HUD.
What is recording?
All title documents are required to be recorded in the Registry of Deeds of the respective counties in order to officially transfer ownership of property and grant mortgage interests. The title attorney is responsible for ensuring that all necessary documents are recorded in a timely fashion after the closing. Technically, the transaction is not official until all documents are recorded.
What is a Declaration of Homestead/Homestead Protection?
An Estate of Homestead is a type of protection for a person’s residence, in the form of a document called a “Declaration of Estate of Homestead”. The form is filed at the Registry of Deeds in the county where the property is located, referencing the title/deed to the property. It allows homeowners in Massachusetts to protect their property up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) of the value of their primary residence, per family.
Who can file a homestead protection?
The owner or owners of a home or those who rightfully possess the premises by lease or otherwise and also occupy or intend to occupy the home as a principal residence may file for the Homestead protection. A sole owner, joint tenant, tenant by the entirety or tenant in common may all be regarded as owners, provided that only one owner may acquire an estate of homestead in any such home. If you are married and you and your spouse own the property as tenants by the entirety, when one married person files a homestead, their spouse and family members receive homestead protection on the premises as well.
What We Handle
- Residential Real Estate
- Owner’s coverage
- Offer To Purchase
- Purchase & Sale
- Commercial Real Estate
- Lease Agreements
- Single Family Home
- Short Sale
- Apartment Lease
- Real Estate Litigation
- Mortgage Loans
- Real Estate Title
- Lease Assignments
- Title Insurance