Q & A on Title Insurance - Home Buying in Georgia

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Keller Williams on the Water

Q & A on Title Insurance- I'm an Atlanta real estate agent and find that my home buyers often have these questions before closing.

What's title insurance? It's meant to protect the owner's or lender's financial interest in real estate.

Whose interest does it protect?  Lender's title insurance protects the lender and Owner's title insurance protects the home buyer for as long as they own the home. Atlanta Real Estate

Who pays for it? When a buyer is getting a loan, they pay for both the Lender's title policy and the Owner's title policy. It's a one time fee at closing. If there is no loan and it's an all cash transaction, then only Owner's title insurance is recommended.

If I have Homeowner's Insurance, do I still need Title Insurance? Yes, they insure 2 very different things. Homeowner's Insurance insures the contents and the building. Title Insurance insures your financial interest in the home.

If there's a title search and it's clear at closing why do I need it? Clear Title means that the closing attorney didn't find any liens on the property before closing and the seller is the legal owner with the right to sell the property, I heard an attorney say that 1 out 5 homeowner's end up using their title insurance. Things don't always show up in the initial search before the closing.

Is Title Insurance required? Lenders require the buyer to purchase it to protect the Lender's interest in the property. Owner's title insurance is not required, but I highly recommend it.

I highly recommend Owner's Title Insurance for several reasons. Years ago when I bought my first Atlanta condo, months after I closed, I received a letter from the city saying that back taxes were owed on the property. For whatever reason, the back taxes didn't show up before closing in the Title Search. Thankfully I had paid a few hundred dollars at closing and it saved me thousands of dollars.

Last year, I had a buyer client buy a foreclosure in a swim tennis community. Several months later, she received a letter stating that back Home Owner Association dues were owed. Once again, it was in the thousands of dollars. My buyer called me asking what to do. I reminded her that she was fine because of the Owner's Title Insurance she purchased at closing. 

Within a few weeks after closing, home buyers receive the Owner's Title Insurance policy in the mail from the closing attorney's office. Put it in a safe place. If something comes up after closing, that policy information will be needed.

For more information on home buying in Georgia, contact Jen Bowman, Realtor and Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners at 404-456-5024. 

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Anna Maria Island Realtor, Jen Bowman is a Broker licensed with Keller Williams on the Water in Florida. She has been featured on HGTV's My First Place, HGTV's Buying and Selling 20 Best Kept Secrets and acted as a consultant for HGTV's Property Virgins.  

She has been featured in Inman News - where real estate and technology connect.

Jen is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and a member of Keller Williams Realty Luxury Home Division, catering to luxury home buyers and sellers

Jen also serves as an eEdge Technology Ambassador and Trainer for Keller Williams International.  

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Pam Dent 12/28/2010 01:13 AM
Home Buying
The Art Of Marketing You
1st Time Buyers
Outside Blogs
title insurance
atlanta real estate
home buyer questions
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Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

Jen - Thank you for a very informative post on Title Insurance.  I was surprised at the 1 in 5 people needing to use their title insurance.

Dec 28, 2010 01:06 AM #1
Ellie Penaranda
239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co

Jen, you picked a great subject to address in this post.  Real estate being the biggest investment anyone can make, title insurance is a subject we address with our clients upfront.  It is amazing how many agents leave it to be discussed at the settlement table.  Thanks for sharing.

Dec 28, 2010 01:07 AM #2
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

You're welcome Pam. I was surprised about the 1 in 5 number too. I personally know 3 people that needed it.  One was my husband's co-worker.  He didn't have it (he wasn't my client to protect) and then needed it.  It is so important to advise our clients on this. 

Thanks Ellie! Title Insurance is a topic that's too important to wait until the closing/settlement table to discuss.

Dec 28, 2010 01:16 AM #3
June Tassillo
Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty - Franklin, NC
Let me help you with the next phase of your life!

Jen ~ This is a great topic for these times.  You listed a lot of important information for a buyer.  Your buyers are lucky to have a Pro like you in the area!

Dec 28, 2010 06:16 AM #4
Jen Bowman
Keller Williams on the Water - Holmes Beach, FL
Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL

Thanks June! Selling real estate is a lot easier when our buyers have good information.

Jan 01, 2011 02:46 PM #5
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Jen Bowman

Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL
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