Monday, August 31, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
By Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems Real Estate.
Observing social distancing and practicing Covid-19 protocols have affected everyone in the real estate business, but I think none so much as the lenders and lawyers, the people who come to the closing table. In fact, the “closing table” itself is a thing of the past. We recently held a closing with the buyer in the attorney’s office and the seller in the office parking lot. The attorneys ran back and forth with stacks of paperwork until all the signatures were done. We literally signed the paperwork on the hood of my car. When it was over, it all went smoothly, with two exhausted attorneys, and no hugs at the end.
Most real estate closings go well because the people who make it happen are professionals in the truest sense of the word. But there are a lot of moving pieces that have to fall into place that can delay, or stop a closing entirely.
One of the most common problems comes from clearing the title. Title companies are responsible for researching and ensuring a title is clear and ready to be transferred into the buyer’s name. It never ceases to amaze us the things the title companies discover. It may be an illegally written title, unknown heirs to a property, or a missing Certificate of Occupancy. We recently had a seller who thought he had filed ownership of his home into an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) to avoid foreclosure. In fact, the owner drew up the incorporation paperwork himself and he did so incorrectly. The corporation was not recognized by New York State and consequently, he was responsible for the debt, and now, so was his wife.
Reputable title companies require title insurance to be purchased to protect both parties from fraud. If you are dealing with a title company that is hesitant to provide title insurance, beware. No legitimate title company will ever tell a client they do not offer title insurance.
Some homes are uninsurable. Older homes with outdated electrical or plumbing components may be too risky for the insurer. Prior claim history and the location of a property can also have an effect on the insurability of a home. Even if an insurance company will cover a home, it might come at the cost of higher premiums.
Whether they are held in an office or a parking lot, it’s good to see that closings are still happening.
I just miss the hugs.
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