Real estate is a complex business and for this reason there must be a number of things in place to ensure that obstacles and challenges are addressed when a transaction takes place. This is where title and escrow services come into play. At Landmark Title Assurance Agency, we manage escrows that are often complicated, particularly those in the commercial real estate space, which is one of our areas of specialty. We also provide our expertise in the residential space working closely with realtors, builders, buyers and sellers. It is always fun to work with and help first-time buyers complete the buying process, and see their excitement as they close on the purchase of their first home.
Phoenix title and escrow services is something we know a lot about, as our team of title and escrow officer are seasoned professionals that have all worked in this industry years.
To better understand why every real estate transaction requires title and escrow services, it is best to clarify what both terms mean to get the bigger picture.
What is title?
Title refers to all your legal rights to own, use and dispose of land. It includes all previous land ownership, uses and transfers. To transfer real estate property from one party to another, legally, a title search must take place, which comprises of the following three elements:
- Rights and interests published in public records
- Rights and interests that are unrecorded but exist
- Rights and interests that are hidden
Title insurance protects against the possibility of future loss, should your legal rights be compromised. Title insurance exists to protect both the lender and owner. The lender’s title insurance policy protects its interest in the property for the mortgage loan and the owner’s policy protects the homeowner for the value of the property.
An owner’s title insurance policy serves to protect those rights and interests that are hidden such as:
- Liens for unpaid taxes
- Forged deeds or by a person of unsound mind
- Deeds by minors or those executed under an invalid or expired power of attorney
- Mistakes in the recording of legal documentation
- Hidden or missing heirs, including spouses
The role of the title agency is to accept responsibility for all legal expense in the event that your property’s title is ever challenged. If they do not defend your title successfully, the property owner is reimbursed. This is a crucial element of protection and security. The owner’s policy stays in force as long as the property owners or its heirs have an interest in it.
What is escrow?
Escrow is defined as a transaction where one party engages in a sale, transfer or lease of a property with another party and delivers money, a written document or item of value to a neutral third person, i.e. the escrow officer. It is imperative that a neutral third party handles the transfer of funds when a real estate transaction takes place. All conditions of the sale must be met prior to the money and property transferring hands. The escrow officer must have the necessary information and documentation to close the transaction. Once the closing takes place, the property’s title is then transferred under the terms of escrow and the title insurance policies are issued.
If you are looking for a trusted partner in Phoenix title and escrow services Landmark Title Assurance Agency is guaranteed to deliver. Whether its commercial or residential real estate transaction our knowledgeable and experienced team of professionals will work with you and provide the personal attention and service needed to make sure your deal closes. To learn more call (602) 748-2800 or visit our Phoenix office located in The Esplanade and our address is 2555 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 275.