What is Title Insurance and Why do I need it?

By Joe Lins

August 11, 2021

I sat down with Collin Frangie of Ticor Title to talk about title insurance and why we need it in this latest episode of our podcast. Here is a partial transcript of our podcast. For the full podcast see the link below.

Joe Lins of Century 21 Discovery and Collin Frangie of Ticor Title talking during the podcast recording.

What is Property Title Insurance?

A Property Title is similar to a record of ownership with a vehicle. When you purchase a car, there’s a history of who owned it. The DMV keeps that title record. Property title is very similar. It’s a record of ownership of the home, which is kept at the county recorder’s office where your home is located. Title insurance companies insure that the person who owns the home has the legal right to ownership of the home.

What is a Title Search?

A Title Search is a search to see who actually owns the home and if there are any loans or liens against the property. Title searches are done by title companies, like Ticor Title. You can do your own title search if you want. You can go down to your county office and look through documents or on microfiche for properties built before 1975.

How Long Does A Title Search Take?

A typical search, if everything is digital, meaning the property was built after 1975, is usually one to three days. Now if the property was built prior to that, and it has not changed ownership since then, you’re looking at about a week. The title company has to hire someone to go down and do that microfiche search and compile all those records. Hiring someone to do this takes a little bit more time.

What about the property that was built in 1935, and it’s sold the 1956. And then it’s sold again in the year 2000. And now it’s getting ready to sell again, and they have to go back to 1935? How does that work? According to Collin, if it has been insured since 1975, they can go back and use that old insurance policy to date and then insure it forward from that date.

What type of issues can delay a policy and what happens if an issue surfaces?

One issue that can happen is when there is a private lien holder who has placed a lien against the property. If the title company can’t find the private beneficiary to get the reconveyance showing the loan was paid off it can hold up the title insurance. That is why agents should be getting a preliminary title report as soon as they take the listing so they can see if there are any issues that may come up.

How Are Costs Determined?

The cost for title insurance are fees that are filed with the state. They are pre-determined by the title company attorneys and increase about 3% per year with inflation. The fees are tied to the value of the home. The higher the value of the home the more liens that can be placed against it. Which means a bigger title insurance policy will be needed.

What is a Preliminary Title Report?

The preliminary title report, or Prelim, pulls the full chain of title for a property title search. Title companies also run the individual’s names to see if there are any judgements against them. It will also show any easements on the property. Everyone who is part of the transaction: Agent, Escrow, Title, Lender, should be reading the Prelim.

Listen to the full podcast on the link below. If you do you can also learn about an exciting event happening in Collin’s life!

Ep. 45 | What is Title Insurance and Why do I need it?
Joe Lins

About the author: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services or training we provide, contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

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