A title policy is, ironically, something everyone expects but few if any actually review. Parties to real estate transactions know very little about what goes on behind the scenes of title underwriting, and only take an interest when there are issues that delay a settlement. Because there is very little difference in the finished product, title companies highlight their level of service and commitment to closing the deal, but forget that everyone hangs their hat on that same criteria. In our view, the significant criteria that distinguishes among the many providers in the industry is level of value add.
- Can your title company assist in structuring a deal to minimize tax liability or alleviate resale restrictions?
- Does your title company enter the fray to facilitate peaceful agreement among warring parties and save the deal, if necessary?
- Does your title company solve problems as they arise, or only identify them?
- Does your title company offer legal advice on a host of related topics?
- Does your title company know what an assignment fee is, or an ABC closing, much less know how to handle them (yes, we are investor friendly)?
- Is your title company willing to offer marketing strategies and insight into creative structures and market trends?
- Is your title company willing to go the extra mile to hand deliver TOPA notices, negotiate junior lien discounts, or facilitate probate and/or bankruptcy matters?
Answering these questions may carry you far along the path to selecting the title company that best fits your needs.