Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions regarding the sale and transfer of property. We would welcome a call from you at any time and are pleased to answer any and all questions you may have regarding the whole process from the pre-sale, marketing phase through the time that we transfer the property to the new owner(s)! Remember there are no dumb questions! Please don't hesitate to call our helpful and knowledgeable staff.

Do I need a realtor or lawyer to transfer my property?

NO! In the State of Ohio you don't have to have a realtor or a lawyer to transfer property, BUT, you MUST HAVE A TITLE COMPANY. A title exam is performed and the title is cleared (liens are paid off), funds (escrow) must be taken in and properly disbursed, title insurance is issued and the property is transferred and recorded with the county. Let us give you the paperwork you need, FREE of course, and the know how to sell your property BY OWNER so you can KEEP THE EQUITY YOU HAVE EARNED in your own pocket.

Do I have to get Title Insurance?

It is highly recommended that you have Title Insurance, which is a one-time premium paid to the Title Company at the close of escrow. In the State of Ohio this cost is generally divided equally between the buyer and the seller. The premium is at a fixed cost of $5.75 per thousand based on the sales price of your home. (example: a house selling for $100,000 will have a title insurance premium of $575.00 which will then be divided in half. The buyer and seller will each pay $287.50) In most cases, the buyer's mortgage lender will require title insurance on the loan amount borrowed. This insurance is the best way to protect one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime.

How does Title Insurance protect me?

Title insurance works the opposite of your health or home insurance, which pays for loss or injury occurring after the effective date of the policy. Title insurance pays for events which occurred before the policy's effective date. It is the best protection you can have against any claims that may arise out of the past. Those things from the past can cause a claim of ownership to what is now your property and could make your title unmarketable. The types of things that could cause a claim are clerical errors, incorrect marital status, undisclosed or missing heirs, forgery and fraud, missed taxes, incorrect legal descriptions, incorrect indexing at the courthouse, mental incompetence of grantors, missed easements, conveyance by a minor, or any possible claims made by third parties against the title. If any of these things were to happen to you, your title insurance would protect you from financial liability.

How will I pay for Closing Costs? ....and how much will they be?

There are no upfront fees that the seller or buyer need to worry about at the time of the sale. The buyer may have a deposit of earnest money that they can give to the seller, or give to the title company to hold in escrow. These are not considered part of the "closing costs". All fees will be paid a few days after title transfer and will be paid out of escrow. The title company will pay off all liens, mortgages, taxes, county fees, etc. from the proceeds received from the buyer. The remaining funds, called proceeds, are paid to the seller at the closing. This is the true "equity" that you have in your home. Just think, if the seller does not pay 7% to a realtor, he will SAVE EQUITY in the amount of $9,500.00 on an average sale price of $150,000.00. The buyer also has closing costs associated with the Title Company. If the purchase is not cash and there is a mortgage involved, the buyer's lender will have a set of fees associated with the loan that are separate from the title insurance company's title and escrow fees. These will vary by lender and will be reflected on the settlement statement at the time of closing. Buyer's may be required to bring additional monies to the closing table to complete their loan. We let the buyer know this prior to the transfer of title and the signing of their final loan papers.

What is Escrow?

When escrow services are provided, it guarantees that no funds or property will change hands until all of the terms and conditions of your contract (purchase agreement) have been followed. The escrow holder has the responsibility to watch over the funds and/or documents and then pay out the funds and/or transfer the title only when all the requirements of the escrow have been completed.

Educating yourself about title insurance could save consumer’s thousands of dollars.

Everyone needs a title insurance company whether you are buying, selling or refinancing! You should choose your title company carefully for the simple reason you are the one paying the bill.

In an effort to protect buyer’s and seller’s in real estate transactions, especially FSBO transactions, we feel it is important to educate you and your buyer of what is known in the title industry as “steering and kickbacks” by realtors, mortgage brokers and lenders. Realtor’s are often very persuasive in convincing buyer’s and seller’s to use a title company of their choice. It is not the realtor’s choice to choose the title company, it’s yours.

Today’s title insurance companies often are fully or partly owned by real estate companies, mortgage brokers and lenders. These types of companies are known as joint ventures or affiliated business arrangements (ABA’s). These arrangements create conflicts of interest and are created for the benefit of the company, not the consumer.

Real estate firms that establish joint ventures with title companies usually do so in order to increase their bottom line, and is an ideal way for expanding their professional services and profit base beyond that of traditional brokerage activities.

It is well known that many realty transactions involve "steering consumers into overpriced fees and services (title and settlement) for profits. To protect yourself and your buyer, we highly recommend that an impartial, neutral third party handle your transaction.

Federal and State laws prohibit realtors, mortgage brokers and lenders from steering title insurance business to their own affiliated title company or any title company of their choice for settlement kickbacks or provision of "anything of value" in exchange for referrals of consumer business.

NOTE: Should a realtor, mortgage broker or lender attempt to steer, pressure, bully or coerce you or your buyer into using their affiliated title company or any title company of their choice to handle your transaction, would be a violation of the federal, state and real estate settlement laws (RESPA). Please notify CONSUMER DIRECT TITLE Co. at 440-230-2211 immediately should you or your buyer experience any form of steering.

For more information on Real Estate Laws and Regulations contact the Department of HUD.