What is title insurance?
A title is the evidence that verifies one has the right to possession of the land. Title insurance plays a major role in making certain that your home ownership is free and clear of any rights or claims of prior owners. Title Insurance protects the homeowner and the mortgage lender from potential risks associated with defects in title. There are two kinds of title insurance: Owner’s and Lender’s. Owner’s Coverage is issued at the time the buyer purchases the property. Coverage is paid based upon the purchase price or the loan amount, whichever is greater. Coverage will last as long as the buyer or the buyer’s heirs have an interest in the property. However, an owner’s policy is not issued when you refinance. Lender’s Coverage protects the lender’s investment in the property. However, this policy insures the lender against title defects that may affect the security of the mortgage loan – not the buyer’s investment. The lender’s title insurance policy is based on the amount of the mortgage. Even if the lender has a title policy, the buyer still needs an owner’s title policy to protect his/her interest.
Why do I need title insurance?
Owner’s title insurance protects your right to your home. By searching, clearing and insuring the title to your home before you buy it, your owner’s title policy offers protection for your property rights, for as long as you and your heirs own your home. If ownership of your property ever comes into question, an owner’s title insurance policy protects you from expensive legal problems that could result in the loss of your home. Please see more reasons you need Title Insurance under the Resources Tab.
How much does title insurance cost?
Title insurance is directly related to the value of the property. The premium is paid only once and remains in force for as long as you and your heirs own your home. Please see our Quote Tab for a Title Insurance quote.
Who selects the title company?
In PA and NJ, the Buyer/Borrower has the right to choose their title company. The Realtor or Lender may suggest or recommend a title company they prefer, but it is the Buyer/Borrower’s choice.
What is the difference between a standard policy and an enhanced policy?
You have the option of purchasing a policy with expanded coverage, this is called the Enhanced Policy or Homeowners Policy. This policy covers all title defects that a Standard Policy covers, plus additional title defects that may arise after closing. The cost of an Enhanced Policy is 10% more than a Standard Policy. Your closing representative will gladly explain the additional benefits so you can decide which policy is the best one for you. Please see more information on the Enhanced Policy/Homeowner’s Policy under the Resources Tab.
Who attends closing?
For a purchase transaction; the Buyer, Seller*, Title Agent, both real estate agents, and usually the lender representative are present. We strongly suggest the Buyer requests that their lender representative attend closing whenever possible, as it typically makes for a smoother closing.
*Often times a seller elects to sign in advance and not attend closing. This is acceptable but we do request that the seller be available by phone and email during closing.
For a refinance transaction; the Borrower, Title Agent and usually the lender representative are present. We strongly suggest the Borrower requests that their lender representative attend closing whenever possible, as it typically makes for a smoother closing.
What do I bring to closing?
- Valid, government issued Photo ID
- Cashier’s Check/Bank Check payable to Germantown Title Company for your funds needed to close. Funds may also be wired, call your closing representative directly! Please see more about safe wire practices and how to avoid fraud under the Resources Tab.
- Any lender requirement/closing conditions
- For a complete list of what is need please contact your closing representative
- Valid, government issued Photo ID
- Keys, any alarm codes and garage door openers
- If seller owes money to close, a Cashier’s Check/Bank Check payable to Germantown Title Company. Funds may also be wired, call your closing representative directly! Please see more about safe wire practices and how to avoid fraud under the Resources Tab.