What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is a contract to protect an owner against losses arising through defects in the title to real estate owned. If the title is insurable, the company guarantees the owner against loss due to any defect in title or expenses in legal defense of the title pursuant to the terms of the policy.

What does Title Insurance cost?

The cost is directly related to the value of the property. The higher the value, the more coverage is needed. The premium is small compared to the total purchase price. The premium is paid only once and remains in force for as long as the property is owned by the insured and continues to protect the insured on warranties after it is sold.

How does Title Insurance protect my investment if a claim should arise?

If a claim is made against your property, title insurance will, in accordance with the terms of your policy, assure you of a legal defense—and pay all court costs and related fees. Also, if the claim proves valid, you will be reimbursed for your actual loss up to the face amount of the policy.

I thought my loan policy will protect me, true?

The loan policy protects the lender against loss due to unknown title defects. It also protects the lender's interest from certain matters, which may exist but may not be known at the time of sale.

This policy only protects the lender's interest. It does not protect you. That is why you need an owner's policy, which can be issued at the same time as the loan policy for a nominal one-time fee.

What is re-issue credit?

A Reissue Credit for Title Insurance may be available to the party responsible for the purchase of the title insurance policy if a title insurance policy has previously been issued on this property (by any title insurance company). The Reissue Credit involves a discount from our underwriter’s standard title insurance rates based on the face amount of the previous title insurance policy. To qualify for the Reissue Credit, a copy of the previous title insurance policy applicable to this property must be submitted to the processor at least three (3) days prior to closing.

What is a Title Search?

A title search is a detailed examination of the historical records concerning a property. These records include deeds, court records, property and name indexes, and many other documents. The purpose of the search is to verify the seller's right to transfer ownership, and to discover any claims, defects and other rights or burdens on the property.

Why do I need a Title Search?

A title must be deemed "good and marketable" before the settlement process can continue. The results of the title search identify (among other things): the current owner of the property; any liens on it; and any limits on how an owner can use the property. Our attorneys will examine the title search report to determine what—if anything—must be done in order to clear the title to the property so that the buyer can obtain their (and lender's) goal of a "good and marketable" title.

What do I need to bring to closing?

All parties must bring valid government issued photo identification such as a driver's license or passport to the closing.

Buyers must bring sufficient certified funds. This is usually done by a cashier's or certified check. If the buyer has brought more than the amount required to the closing, SFTG will issue the buyer a check for the excess.

If you are a seller and a non-resident alien (i.e., a Foreign Person as that term is used under the IRS regulations), please immediately alert SFTG to this. If you are subject to withholding and you fail to alert us, this could delay the closing.

For sellers, nothing else is required unless you choose to have your proceeds wired into your bank account—in which case you will need to bring specific wiring instructions for the account to which the funds will be transmitted. This is most easily accomplished through a voided check or deposit slip on that account. Homeowners who are refinancing, taking cash out and wish to have the funds wired should similarly bring wiring instructions, a voided check or deposit slip to closing.