US Property Title Insurance & Escrow Services for Canadians
In many states, title insurance companies are used to facilitate the transfer of title for real estate transactions rather than using a lawyer as we do in Canada. We partner with only the most experienced title agents who truly understand the intricacies of handling transactions for non-resident Canadian foreign buyers and sellers.
What is Title Insurance?
In the United States, matters that affect ownership and other real estate interests are entered in public records. Before a transaction is completed, a title search of the public records is made in order to locate potential problems, so they can be addressed ahead of time, and the transfer can proceed. The objective of title insurance is to protect all parties in the real estate transaction and to assure that the transfer of property is as prompt and secure as possible. Title defects can be very serious, time-consuming and expensive to resolve after the fact. At worst, they can result in the loss of ownership. That is why having title insurance is so important!
What is Escrow?
Buying or selling real estate usually involves the transfer of large sums of money. It is imperative that a neutral third party, such as a Title Company, handles the transfer of funds and related documents from one party to another. It is essential that all conditions of the sale are met before the property and money change hands. The Escrow Holder impartially carries out the written instructions given by the principals (buyer, seller and lender). This includes receiving funds and documents necessary to comply with those instructions, completing or obtaining required forms, and handling final delivery of all items to the proper parties upon the successful completion of the escrow.
Top 10 Things You Need to Know About the Real Estate Closing Process
- When it comes to service providers associated with your closing, you have a choice. This includes the title company that will close your transaction. In certain areas, the seller will pay for some closing costs and thus will be entitled to select the vendor(s).
- Talk to your lender, real estate agent and escrow officer to obtain additional information about the various service providers and fees.
- We advise all our clients to use our partners because they are highly experienced in non-resident transactions!
- To avoid delays or a postponement of your closing, be sure to respond to lender and escrow officer requests immediately.
- Work closely with your lender, real estate agent and escrow officer to avoid delays.
- As an additional security measure to protect your non-public personal information, you may receive secured emails from your lender and escrow officer.
- You will need to follow the instructions for retrieving that information and make sure that you return any information through the secured email system.
- The Loan Estimate (LE) will be sent to you within three days of your loan application. You may receive multiple copies of the LE if there are any changes in circumstance(s).
- The terms provided on the LE will also appear on the Closing Disclosure (CD). Lenders are required to explain any changes in fees on the CD.
- Approximately 10 to 14 days before you are scheduled to sign your documents you should be prepared to communicate with your lender, real estate agent and escrow officer. It will be important for you to provide your hazard insurance information.
- Wiring instructions will be subject to strict verification’s to prevent fraud. Discuss this with your closing professionals well in advance.
- A closing statement called the Closing Disclosure (CD) will be used for most loan applications taken on and after October 3, 2015. The CD will be sent directly to you (buyer/consumer) and not your real estate agent.
- The CD is designed to make it easy for you to understand the terms of your loan.
- The Closing Disclosure (CD) must be delivered to you (buyer/consumer) at least three business days prior to signing the documents.
- If the CD is delivered via email it is important to acknowledge receipt to avoid additional delays.
- The CD may also be mailed seven days in advance and does not require proof of receipt.
- This time allows you to share it with your agent, attorney and/or financial advisor and ask questions or get clarification from your lender about the terms and conditions of your loan.
- Lenders typically require their borrowers to purchase a Lender’s Policy of Title Insurance for the purchase loan(s).
- The fees are usually based on the amount of the loan(s).
- A lender’s policy protects only the lender’s interests should a problem with the title arise.
- Research the value and importance of an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy early on in the process of obtaining a loan and closing on the purchase of your home.
- Homebuyers often assume that the Lender’s Title Insurance Policy protects them from challenges to their ownership rights in the property being acquired. This is not the case. Instead, the homebuyer’s interests are protected by an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy. This insurance coverage typically protects against adverse matters such as ownership challenges, errors and omissions in deeds, forgery, and undisclosed heirs, among other things. It also provides coverage for the attorney’s fees that arise where legal challenges to your property’s ownership occur. Its cost is typically based on the home’s total purchase price, and is a one-time fee paid at closing.
- This is one of the most important purchases of your life. Do not be afraid to ask questions of your lender, real estate agent and escrow officer.