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Closing on a property can be both thrilling and daunting. Whether you're a seasoned investor or a first-time homebuyer, navigating the intricacies of the closing process is crucial for a smooth transition of property ownership. In Indiana, like in many other states, this process involves various legal and financial steps that demand attention to detail. To shed light on this often opaque procedure, we've consulted title experts to compile essential tips for navigating the closing process in the Hoosier state.

Understanding the Closing Process:

The closing process in Indiana typically involves several key steps:

1. Contract Review: Once a purchase agreement is signed, it's crucial to review the contract thoroughly. Ensure that all terms and conditions are clearly outlined and that there are no discrepancies or ambiguities.

2. Title Search: Conducting a title search is essential to uncover any existing liens, encumbrances, or ownership disputes associated with the property. This step helps identify potential obstacles that may affect the transfer of title.

3. Title Insurance: Securing title insurance is a fundamental aspect of the closing process. Title insurance protects both the buyer and the lender against any unforeseen defects in the title that may arise after the transaction is complete.

4. Property Inspection: Prior to closing, it's advisable to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the property to identify any structural issues or defects. Addressing these concerns beforehand can prevent complications during the closing process.

5. Finalizing Financing: For buyers relying on financing, ensuring that all mortgage documents are in order is essential. This includes providing necessary financial documentation and finalizing loan details with the lender.

Tips from Title Experts:

To navigate the closing process with confidence, consider the following tips from title experts:

1. Work with a Reputable Title Company: Partnering with a reputable title company can streamline the closing process and provide invaluable expertise. Choose a company with a proven track record of excellence and a commitment to customer satisfaction.

2. Communicate Openly: Effective communication is key throughout the closing process. Stay in regular contact with your real estate agent, lender, and title company to address any concerns or questions promptly.

3. Review Documents Carefully: Take the time to review all closing documents thoroughly before signing. If anything is unclear or requires clarification, don't hesitate to seek guidance from your title agent or attorney.

4. Be Prepared for Delays: While everyone aims for a smooth and timely closing, it's essential to be prepared for potential delays. Factors such as financing issues, title complications, or last-minute negotiations can prolong the process.

5. Stay Flexible: Flexibility is essential when navigating the closing process. Be prepared to accommodate scheduling changes, document revisions, or unexpected developments that may arise.

Closing on a property in Indiana can be a complex yet manageable process with the right knowledge and guidance. By understanding the key steps involved and heeding advice from title experts, buyers and sellers can navigate the intricacies of the closing process with confidence. Remember to prioritize communication, diligence, and flexibility to ensure a successful and stress-free closing experience.

Buying a property is an exciting and overwhelming adventure. From choosing the location to negotiating and buying the home, every process is a new challenge to face. That stays true even during the closing transaction.

It requires a plethora of paperwork, signings, and payments. Knowing what to expect when closing a home can help you learn more about the process and get ready.

What Is The Closing Process?

The last stage of what is frequently a drawn-out real estate transaction process is closing. It might take many months to go from the signing of a purchase and sell agreement to sitting down at the closing table. 

Closing is the day that buyers receive the keys and formally become the property's owner. On the other hand, closing is the day that sellers get paid for the sale.

Numerous crucial tasks need to be finished by the time of closing. The potential buyer will have obtained the mortgage required to buy the house unless they are paying cash. There will have been an evaluation of the house and a condition inspection by an impartial third party. All further conversations regarding expenses, repairs, and fittings will have been resolved to a satisfactory degree. The purchaser is going to do a last inspection of the property. Usually, the vendor has left after packing.

The buyer of the property must sign a ton of documents on closing day to complete the transaction. On closing day, several additional parties are frequently present, such as the seller, the lender, real estate agents, the closing agent, and frequently an attorney who will also be reviewing the documents being signed.

How Long Does It Take To Close On A House?

There can be a range of times between putting in an offer and finalizing the deal. The typical closing period for mortgage-financed home acquisitions is 47 days, as reported by mortgage consulting and technology platform ICE Mortgage Technologies. Closings, however, can happen as quickly as thirty days, particularly in all-cash transactions.

homebuyer paying cash to home seller

Steps To Prepare For Closing On A House

The process of closing on a home is difficult. What you should do to prepare is as follows:

Consult A Real Estate Lawyer

Purchasing a home involves more than just the buyer and seller doing business. It's also a somewhat intricate legal procedure. You might find it helpful to work with a real estate lawyer to guide you through the process and make sure everything closes without a hitch. Generally optional, however having legal representation can help you steer clear of unforeseen problems later on.

Create An Escrow Account

At the beginning of the closing process, the majority of homebuyers open an escrow account, which is normally handled by a title company. This account contains all the cash related to the sale, including an earnest money deposit, before you formally close on the property. After closing, the mortgage provider transfers the monies to the buyer and seller, respectively, guaranteeing a safe and secure transaction.

Do A Title Search

Early in the closing process, do a title search on the property you are buying. Any problems or claims against the house, including unpaid property taxes or liens placed on it by contractors, will be revealed by a title search and might potentially threaten your ability to legally buy and occupy the property. During this time, you should also consider purchasing title insurance, which would pay for any title disputes that arise while you are the owner.

Get A Home Inspection

One of the most crucial aspects of closing is getting a house inspected. There may be hidden problems in even the most exquisite homes.

A contractor or qualified inspector will look for significant problems such as leaks, cracks in the foundation, faults with the plumbing or electrical system, and possible safety risks during a house inspection. You may choose to back out of the agreement based on the inspection's findings, or you may request that the seller remedy the problems as a condition of the sale.

Negotiate On Your Closing Costs

Certain charges are negotiable even if closing costs can be high. Check to see if your lender may waive the application fee or reduce the origination fee. Ask your mortgage company whether you can shop around for the cheapest rate instead of paying a set charge to the insurance company of their choice if you need a lender's title insurance.

Confirm Your Closing Date

Verifying the date of your closure is the next step. On this date, the seller will vacate the property completely and you will have the opportunity to move in. Remember that the closing date comes at least one month following the acceptance of the purchase offer. If you encounter unforeseen obstacles when shutting, it may take much longer. You can begin packing your belongings and contacting moving companies as soon as you have the closing date confirmed.

Do A Final Walkthrough

Doing a last walk-through just before moving into a new home is a good idea, even if your initial home inspection went well. There's always a chance that damage happened in the interim between the initial inspection and the day of your move-in. Make sure the seller repaired everything that needed to be fixed and cleared the house and property of everything that wasn't covered by the purchase and selling agreement at the last walk-through.

Understand Your Closing Documents

You will receive many crucial paperwork at the closing. Ask your real estate lawyer or Realtor to go over each document's purpose as there may be up to 100 pages in it. Some of the documents you might anticipate receiving are as follows:

Loan estimate: Key details about your loan, including terms, interest rate, and closing fees, are included in this document. Verify that everything is accurate, including how your name is spelled.

Closing disclosure: This document provides information about your mortgage, just like the loan estimate. This form should be sent to you at least three days before the closure. You have the opportunity to compare the information on the loan estimate and the closing disclosure within this window of time.

Initial escrow statement: Any payments made from your escrow account by the lender during the first year of your mortgage are included on this form. Insurance and taxes are included in these costs.

Mortgage note: This paperwork formally commits you to paying back the mortgage. It outlines the loan's conditions and amount as well as what will happen if you don't make your installments.

Mortgage or deed of trust: If you default on the mortgage note, this instrument secures the note and grants your lender a claim against the house.

Certificate of occupancy: This legal document is required for you to move into a freshly built home. Additionally, get a copy of the survey and title policy.

What Takes Place When A House Is Closed?

The two main things you will need to accomplish on closing day are signing legal paperwork and paying escrow items and closing expenses. The documents you will sign will cover the terms and conditions of your mortgage from your lender as well as the agreement between you and the seller, who is transferring ownership of the home. To ensure you understand exactly what you're committing to, it's crucial that you thoroughly read each of these contracts.

On closing day, you will also need to pay for all escrow goods and closing charges. Getting a mortgage and changing ownership of real estate comes with several costs. These costs consist of HOA dues, utility bills, and property taxes. Typically, the money is sent to the escrow business via wire transfer certified check, or cashier's check made payable to the bank. Personal checks are frequently prohibited.

It's also crucial to find out what kind of identification is needed before closing day. Though some businesses demand two, typically just one form of ID is required. Usually, you have to bring the following items:

Factors That May Cause Closing Delays

Closing delays can be caused by a variety of factors, such as inadequate appraisal, unfulfilled conditions, title issues, and issues with the mortgage money.

Low Appraisal

An appraisal is a professional evaluation, mandated by the mortgage lender, of the value of the house you are considering purchasing. Ensuring the home's sale price is in line with its fair market worth is the aim of an appraisal. If the home appraises for less than the purchase price and/or the amount you are trying to borrow, this step could affect the closing process. The maximum amount the lender will lend you is the appraised value. Therefore, your agreement can collapse if you lack the funds to close the assessment gap.

Failing To Secure Financing

Closing may be slowed down or the loan may be canceled completely if you are unable to obtain a mortgage due to a change in your circumstances, nonpayment of the loan, or other delays.

Unfulfilled Contingencies

In a real estate contract, contingencies give either party the option to withdraw from the agreement if specific requirements are not fulfilled. This could be the result of a home inspection that finds significant issues, the purchase is conditional on the buyer obtaining financing (see above), or the seller buying a new residence. These and other contingency-related issues could stop the deal or make it completely collapse.

Issues With Title

Any real estate transaction requiring a closing needs to have a clear title, meaning there should be no questions or claims regarding ownership. This implies that the closure cannot take place until any form of lien or claim against the property is resolved. If a seller owes unpaid income or property taxes, the Internal Revenue Service or the state government may lay liens on the property.

These are some of the basic things you need to know when closing a home. In Part 2, we’ll dive deeper into the closing transaction and talk about the importance of a title service company.

Leading your customers through their sale or purchase and ensuring that you and your clients are prepared for closing is a process that real estate agents go through, whether they are handling ten transactions at once or just one. 

Additionally, you must have everything organized because your consumers want a seamless and joyous day.

To assist you in avoiding issues and mistakes, we've compiled a list of some of the most important considerations to make as you near the completion of your transactions and throughout the process.

  1. Verify that all of the paperwork your broker has requested is finished and entered into your document management system and make sure that every addendum has been included. Important note: If any of the paperwork is incomplete or improperly executed, your broker might not be able to grant your Commission Disbursement Authority (CDA).
  2. To avoid funding delays, make sure your sellers have given the title company access to mortgage payback details in advance of the closing date.
  3. Even though Homeowners Association (HOA) information is usually included in contracts, it's a good idea to ensure the title company has access to all relevant HOA data well before the closing.
  4. Was there a death among the sellers? Did they have a joint tenancy or tenancy in common? In that case, it must be revealed from the outset of the contract procedure. The seller must be prepared to give the title firm the necessary paperwork to prove ownership.
  5. Is it a trust or an estate? Is there a lawyer present? If so, the seller must be prepared to give the title company the necessary paperwork at the start of the contract procedure. 
  6. Give the title firm access to all modifications, extensions, and counter proposals right away, along with the inspection resolution. The closing could be delayed if there is any delay in sending these.
real estate broker holding key for closing transaction with buyer
  1. Is there a power of attorney in place for your seller or buyer? If so, they must inform the title company in advance of the closing for the proper name to appear on all paperwork. If this isn't given, documents may have the incorrect name on the day of closing, which could cause a delay.
  2. If so, what is the name of the corporation, and is this a 1031 exchange?
  3. Discuss the many closing choices your client will have with your title company in advance, such as mail-out, mobile notary, or remote online notarization (RON) closure. If a lender is engaged in the deal, they usually determine the available possibilities by requiring signed papers. Your title company can help inform your client in advance. If the customer believes they may be able to close remotely but ultimately is unable to, this helps to set expectations ahead of time and prevents annoyance as closing approaches.
  4. Before closing, provide the title firm with your Commission Disbursement Authority (CDA). Tell your title company in Indiana how you would want to be paid so they can wire money, mail the check, or cut you a check at closing. If you decide to go with a money wire transfer, make sure the title company calls you to confirm the wiring instructions before sending the wire. The CDA should contain any withholding, such as the home warranty you could be buying for a client.
  5. At least five days before closing, arrange a closing appointment with your buyers/sellers.
  6. Avoid scheduling a closing appointment after 3:00 p.m. if the move date is urgent or falls on the same day as the closing, as money could not be available that day.
  7. Make sure your clients are prepared to bring correct identification to the closure. This could include a state-issued ID, driver's license, or passport. Also, make sure to keep your social security numbers available.
  8. It is beneficial to supply your buyers with information about utility transfer. Check-in with them to ensure utilities are transferred successfully to the new address on the day of closing.
  9. Ensure that buyers are prepared to present funds to closing, either in the form of a cashier's check or a wire transfer delivered to the title company before the closing appointment. Important tip: Always confirm wiring instructions with your buyer and/or seller on the day they are sending payments by calling the title company from a verified phone number. Fraudsters target customers in real estate transactions, so remind your client to never entertain a call or email from someone claiming to be from the title company or you, as it could be someone fraudulent.
  10. If your seller owes rent for a leaseback to the purchasers, make sure they present cash to closing in the form you agreed on. Typically, a personal or cashier's check is accepted.
  11. Inform your buyers that the signature on the closing documents must match the signature on the form of identification they bring to the closing, such as their driver's license, passport, or other ID.

Now, these steps might sound easier than they truly are but don't worry, as long as you have the right title company working with you, you can make the closing transaction smooth and seamless.

Need a reliable title company in Indiana? If yes, IndyLegal is here to assist you.We've worked with various real estate agents and brokers in Indiana, and we take pride in providing a top-tier service for all our clients. Learn about our services by checking our website or calling us at 317-214-6023 today!

Title companies, like many other businesses, faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nature of their operations, which often involves in-person interactions, document signings, and thorough property research, required swift adaptation to ensure business continuity and the safety of their employees and clients. 

Let's explore a case study highlighting how a hypothetical title company demonstrated resilience during the pandemic:

1. Remote Work Transition:

2. Technology Integration:

woman working from home having video chat with colleagues

3. Client Communication And Education:

4. Safety Protocols For In-Person Transactions:

5. Employee Well-Being:

6. Regulatory Compliance:

Bottom Line

In summary, the hypothetical title company showcased resilience during the pandemic by swiftly adapting to remote work, embracing digital technologies, enhancing communication with clients, implementing safety measures for in-person interactions, prioritizing employee well-being, and staying abreast of regulatory changes. 

These measures not only ensured business continuity but also positioned the company for continued success in a post-pandemic landscape.

In the first part, we've talked about the basics of home closing, including what closing on a home means, what happens during this transaction, which parties are present, and what closing documents will be evaluated.

What Are The Closing Costs?

Take a deep breath and stop worrying about closing costs. Just like the rest of the procedure, you should be cautious and patient as you go over your debt. Any charges the buyer incurs when buying a new house are considered closing costs. These are the costs associated with completing the buyer's title transfer and starting the mortgage loan, and they are billed to the buyer by the lender and title business.

It's crucial to remember that various expenses are required to be listed in the closing disclosure, depending on what your lender needs. 

Here are some common closing costs:

Loan Origination Costs: This is an application processing fee that the lender charges you in advance.

Land Survey Fee: To ensure that the lender is funding the property appropriately, a land surveyor will confirm the borders.

Inspection Fees: These are any costs collected by the buyer in employing experts to examine the subject property. Lenders typically mandate preventative inspections. For additional information on inspections, see our closing checklist below.

Credit Checks: The lender will charge you for any costs incurred in assessing your creditworthiness as a buyer. This could lower your credit score, so before applying for a loan, you might want to speak with a financial expert to find out how your credit is doing.

Mortgage Points: These are credits that you can buy to reduce the effective interest rate you'll pay on your loan. They are also sometimes referred to as discount points.

How Much Does Closing Costs Cost?

Closing expenses depend on your location, the lender you chose, and any third-party suppliers you shop around for before the title transfer -- just like most other steps in the process.

One of the biggest factors influencing total closing costs will likely be the state or area in which you are buying a property, as this will have a significant impact on the projected cost of each itemized closing expense. 

2019 closing costs in Washington, D.C. ranked among the highest average prices of house sales among U.S. states and municipalities, exceeding $25,000 on average. This is a staggering 1,351 percent increase over the average expenditures associated with closing on a home in Indiana.

How To Reduce Closing Costs?

Location plays a huge role in closing costs; however, there are ways to keep these expenses as low as possible.

Create A Budget Plan

To evaluate your capacity to make monthly payments, the lender will require you to provide proof of all the debts you owe. This will be used to know your debt-to-income ratio, which should be less than 43 percent to increase your chances of approval. Setting up a budget for your house mortgage payment lowers the chance that you'll apply for a loan you can't afford over time and makes it more likely that your lender will consider you a reliable borrower.

man reducing closing costs using calculator

Check Your Credit Score

Lenders may find that borrowers with high credit scores—typically 740+—are among the most desirable candidates since they may have a history of more responsible loan payback. Even though you can still get a loan with a lower credit score, if your lender thinks you're a bigger risk, you might have to pay thousands more in interest!

Choose The Right Third-Party Supplier

You may afford to spend less for these necessary expenses upfront if you shop around for house inspectors, insurance companies, value appraisers, land surveyors, and anybody else you'd depend on to thoroughly assess your property and assist you in finishing. Recall that even if your lender could suggest a particular third-party vendor, it is still your call if you want it.

How Long Does Closing A Home Take?

There are different variables affecting the length of the closing procedure. On average, it takes up to two months, depending on all the circumstances.

The length of time it takes to close on a house depends on certain factors that are beyond your control as a buyer, such as how long it takes your lender to process your application, but you may also speed up or slow down the process by making certain decisions. You might expect your closure to go faster if you give it more time to prepare. 

Here are two tips to close on a home quickly:

Work With An Attorney: The closing procedure might run smoother and faster when you have experts on your side.

Ask Referrals For Inspectors: The experts you're working with are not only able to recommend repairs faster; they may also be able to suggest contractors for those repairs who can complete them promptly.

Checklist For House Closing

By now, you may already know how much time, money, and energy a house closing needs. Yes, it's complicated, but knowing what to prepare ahead of time can make closing on a home faster and easier. 

Below is a checklist of things you need to get ready for house closing.

Create An Escrow Account

Opening an escrow account to handle any closing transactions might be a good first step toward protecting your money from fraudulent behavior, even if it's not required by law in every state. 

A third party holds the account that the buyer finances concerning the itemized total that is agreed upon in the closing disclosure form. Escrow accounts are run independently from both the seller and the buyer.

Perform A Property Title Search

By looking up public records to see if anyone else is claiming any portion of the land you want to buy, you may confirm that the title to the property is uncontested. When there are no liens or encumbrances on the property, no evidence of fraud or forgery is found, and no third party is connected to the ownership of the property in any manner, the title is considered clear.

Work With An Attorney

Hiring an attorney might not be required in some areas; however, that doesn't mean you should skip this stage. Having a lawyer who is an expert in real estate and mortgage rules in your state can help you save a lot of money when negotiating closing fees while reducing possible stress and problems along the way.

Evaluate Home Repairs

Finding the help you need is one thing; looking for the right third-party supplier is another. That's why when you seek a home and pest inspector, you should not just hire anyone. 

Hiring the right inspector can help find difficult-to-reach damage from a prior earthquake, fire, or flood that needs to be fixed. Lenders frequently even demand that repairs be evaluated and completed before closing.

Do A Final Walkthrough

It's almost a done deal now, but before anything else, don't forget to do a final walkthrough.

Before the formal closing and title transfer, this is the next-to-the-last phase in the procedure. After the inspections and, hopefully, the repairs, you have to double-check that the home's value justifies what you're going to pay for. 

Pro Tip: When doing a final walkthrough, check everything to make sure that they're working well, such as every light switch, toilet flush, faucet, appliance, and even every door knob. List down any minor damages you can see and you can either reduce them from the home's value or ask them to be fixed right away.

Complete Your Closing Documents

Now that you're moving forward with the settlement, the next thing you need to do is get all the essential documents ready, such as:

Proof of funds for the transaction, such as a cashier's check or wire transfer receipt

Closing disclosure (to be compared to the estimated loan amount)

Access your bank account via a checkbook or smartphone 

Finally, remember to invite your lawyer (or a friend or trusted advisor) to the closing.

Despite the complicated nature of closing on a house, there are resources and services available to ensure a seamless transaction. Making the best decisions for your lifestyle when selecting vendors is one of the many things you can control, and it will provide you peace of mind as you wait to move into your new house.

If you want to learn more about closing on a home or need help with the title, our team at IndyLegal is here to help!

Click this link to see informative resources or call us at 317-214-6023 so we can assist you today!

Real estate can be challenging, and this goes not only for those who have little to no experience with it but also for those who are familiar with the procedure. Therefore, whether you're a repeat home buyer, have experimented with the market but never made a commitment, or were never familiar with real estate at all, creating a solid plan before a closing can help reduce stress when the time comes. 

Even seasoned professionals may find closing difficult as they negotiate for rates on house insurance all the while taking the home you desire and your needs into consideration. Although it can be tempting to put your emotions aside to come across as a professional and skillful negotiator, many seasoned real estate professionals advise going with your instincts and asking as many questions as necessary about the closing process, regardless of your level of experience.

Getting to know the basics of closing a house is good, but continuously learning about it as much as you can is even better.

In this two-part post, we'll help understand what these are all about.

What You Need To Know About Closing

What Does Closing On A Home Mean?

Closing happens when the buyer obtains the title to the property from the seller. It also means the end of the mortgage loan procedure. Similar to how you "open" negotiations with a seller by making an offer on their home, closing is the final stage of the buying process that concludes when the sellers accept your purchase offer. As you proceed with the transaction's settlement, you will examine, approve, and date the relevant documentation.

Where Does Closing Happen?

Most of the time, the lender is the one who decides where the closing will take place. The closing procedure usually happens at the subject property, although it's more typical to go over the required paperwork in an escrow agency or a title company.

However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, full closing virtually has become possible.

Which Parties Are Present During Closing?

The state and sometimes even the county where you are buying a home will determine who will be present at your closing. In case relevant parties are not present in one place because of the pandemic (or other similar scenarios), a virtual meeting should take place.

Nonetheless, there are certain participants you can anticipate being involved in the process, regardless of the precise location, including:

closing on a home documents

What Closing Documents Will Be Evaluated?

As mentioned, closing on a home is a thorough procedure requiring tons of paperwork. Every stage of the procedure and interaction with the people involved in your closing is recorded on forms. 

Here's a brief explanation of what these documents are:

Promissory Note

This agreement is your promise to your lender to reimburse them for the amount you owe on the mortgage secured by your house.

Deed Of Trust / Mortgage

This serves as evidence provided by your lender of a lien placed on the assets you provided as loan security or collateral. In essence, this paperwork protects your loan and gives your lender instructions on how to move forward in case you are not able to pay the loan.

Closing Disclosure

A closing disclosure, officially known as Form HUD-1 and sometimes referred to as a settlement statement, is an official list of itemized costs along with other pertinent mortgage-related information. This should contain your mortgage payment schedule, the other terms of your loan, and/or any charges required to pay. 

You must receive an itemized closing disclosure at least three working days before the closing date as required by law. Make sure you submit a request with enough time for the lender to react by consulting with your agent or representative.

Depending on standards maintained by your lender or applicable legislation in your state, you can come across additional paperwork during closing. These may consist of:

Initial Escrow Statement

To protect your closing transaction against fraud, many jurisdictions mandate that you form an escrow account or an account overseen by an impartial third party. If so, the amount that your lender will deduct from your escrow account during the first year of your mortgage repayment plan to pay for taxes, insurance, and other costs is specified in the escrow statement.

Estimate Of Loan

This projected, detailed list of all the charges associated with your closing—also known as a good faith estimate—should be formalized in your closing disclosure. Ensuring this document is accurately documented in the final closing disclosure and that there are no significant differences between the two is very important.

Certificate Of Occupancy

This particular paper permits you to live in a newly built home. To find out if you need to receive this paperwork, you should speak with your agent, lawyer, or representative.

In the next part, we'll dive deeper into house closing, so be sure to click this link.

If you're still thinking about whether title insurance is just a "luxury" and not a necessity, then an article from The Washington Post might help.

It says that the chances of having an issue with a title are relatively high since most real estate transactions need "extraordinary work." While problems, such as outstanding liens, taxes, etc., might occur, title insurance offers a safety net to cover unexpected expenses. 

Doing a title search investigates for title defects that may prohibit the seller's legal transfer to the buyer. Doing this helps ensure that the title is "clean" and that the buyer has the peace of mind they need as they purchase a new property.

Below are the title issues that may arise before or after buying a home.

9 Issues To Look For During Title Search


One of the most frequent issues with title searches is taxes. If there are any outstanding taxes associated with the property, a preliminary report shows them. Before other financial commitments, such as mortgage liens, taxes should be settled first. Taxes must be paid off before any other debts can be settled with the money from the sale of these assets.

property taxes files with magnifying glass

Mortgage Liens

A title search finds out whether there are any mortgage liens on the property you want to purchase. Ignoring this cost could put you in debt because you could have to pay it back after the transaction. 

Restrictions, Conditions, And Covenants

Zoning conflicts, historic monitoring, and other restrictions might also impede or postpone the selling of a property. Thankfully, previous homeowners or their neighbors' boundary and survey limits can be found through title searches. No matter how tiny, try to find out whether there is a border issue on the land you plan to purchase. If not, unresolved boundary conflicts could surface and cause you trouble.

Any municipal zoning that limits the use of land in a particular district is also revealed by a title search. These limitations, which may include gardening and renovation regulations, specify the kind of property you are allowed to build in that zone. Condos and properties owned by associations are subject to specific covenants and regulations. It is imperative to conduct a title search for them before making a purchase. 


The right to use a portion of land without having ownership rights is known as an easement. It could be used, for instance, to allow access to a public beach or a property situated back from a main road. Typically, federal, state, or local entities are involved. 

The fact that easements are legally transferred with property ownership is the source of their problem. Only the parties concerned may choose to have them removed because they are legally binding agreements.

Unfamiliar Or Uninformed Heirs

Imagine purchasing a piece of land, and two months later, someone else appears claiming to be the heir. Purchasing a property from one or more of the heirs of a deceased owner frequently results in this situation. Make sure everyone is aware of the transaction and has given their consent; otherwise, heirs may appear and cause you a lot of bothersome issues that could prevent you from enjoying a quiet and comfortable life in your new house. 

All of these options are revealed by a title search, which also lets you know if the seller's will contains any restrictions on their ability to sell the property. The search makes sure the original owner didn't leave it to someone else who might show up and sabotage the deal.  

Illegal Deeds

This nation still has instances of illegal title issuance. The property you want to buy might have been owned by someone who entered the country illegally. You may have some problems as a result, but a professional title search firm can assist you in identifying this potential problem.  

Public Record Errors

Public documents should be accurate, yet mistakes are made by people. Errors happen when land officials file millions of deeds, paperwork, and surveys every year. These documents may include misspelled words, names, phone numbers, or addresses. All of these issues can be found with a precise title check before a house transaction is completed.

Divorce Edicts

An extensive divorce can have a significant impact on a family's financial security. Your house purchase may be delayed or derailed by divorce decrees. This can happen if the seller, who is divorcing, loses all or part of the property you are interested in purchasing in a settlement. 

You have to include the other party in the selling process as a result of this loss. The selling procedure could come to a complete standstill if the other divorcing party is not involved or if they decline to consent to the transaction. You can save needless problems and discover all these details by conducting a title search.


There are a lot of impersonators in home selling, and a properly executed title search can identify whether the sale of the house is a fraud. Impersonators can cause problems in many ways, such as stealing legitimate ownership names and other identity documents to employ in unlawful real estate transactions. When the true owner shows up, you don't want to waste your money on an invalid transaction. So, take your time and use a title search to confirm the information.

Indiana's Leading Title Company

Buying a home may not be as smooth and seamless as it should be; however, as long as you have the right support you need, it can be an exciting and fulfilling moment. 

IndyLegal is Indiana's leading title company that offers support in handling title searches, escrow services, insurance, settlement services, and more.

We help reveal and fix red flags to avoid further problems. Call us at 317-214-6023 to learn more about our offers.

Whether you're upgrading, downsizing, relocating for work, or preparing to retire, the decision to buy or sell a home is difficult. Whatever the reason for your move, there is a lot that happens between the time a "For Sale" sign is pounded into the seller's yard and the buyer receives the keys to the new house.

First-time home buyers and sellers, in particular, may be unsure of what to expect at closing or what a closing comprises from beginning to end. The closing process covers everything happening between the time the seller accepts an offer and the close date or the date when the buyer formally acquires ownership of the home.

The Closing Process

Here's a handy cheat sheet to assist you in comprehending each phase of the closing process:

Real Estate For Sale

Naturally, the seller's first action in the closing process is to market their home for sale. You must pick whether to work with a real estate agent (or listing agent) or sell the home yourself as the seller. An agent promotes the property, enters it into the MLS database, prepares paperwork, and communicates with the buyer's agent. The listing agent will often charge a commission for their services, which they will split with the buyer's agent.

Seller Shows Potential Home Buyers Around The Property

Once your home is listed, you must keep it clean, nice, and clutter-free to accommodate showings, which is a key part of the selling process. Allowing as many potential buyers as possible to view your home may increase your chances of obtaining several bids. It's usually a good idea to leave the property so that prospective buyers may look around without being distracted.

Re-stage the home every day in preparation for impromptu showings. Setting up a few evenings each week for showings could be beneficial. You may also want to schedule viewings by appointment only to give yourself more time to prepare. Your agent will provide a lockbox so they can enter the residence at the agreed-upon time. Your realtor may also advise you to host an open house to reach out to a large number of potential purchasers in a single day.

Buyer Makes Seller An Offer

After generating interest through showings, offers should begin to flood in - especially if your agent appropriately publicized and priced your home. In today's seller's market, this might happen as soon as your home hits the market. However, you may have to wait till after a few showings. In general, the better your home's condition, the more offers you'll receive and the easier it will be to justify the price.

A buyer's willingness to pay, suggested closing and occupancy dates, and any contingencies (such as the sale of the buyer's current home or a satisfactory home inspection) are typically included in an offer. Remember that the highest bid isn't always the best offer. For example, if the offer is contingent on the buyer's ability to finance the property, you could be back at square one. Your agent can help you assess the strength of each offer.

Buyer And Seller Negotiate

Negotiations between the seller and potential purchasers follow. If a seller receives an offer that they believe is too low, they can respond with a counteroffer to start the negotiating process. Furthermore, if a buyer is dissatisfied with the counter price, they may propose another compromise. Of course, negotiation strength is heavily influenced by market conditions.

In a seller's market, for example, buyers frequently lack bargaining strength. If a buyer's offer is too low or too laden with contingencies, the seller may choose not to negotiate. In addition, in a hot market, buyers must act swiftly, possibly making an offer the same day they visit the house. If you are a buyer who is not pre-approved for a loan, your offer will almost certainly be rejected in favor of buyers who can provide a pre-approval letter.

Home Inspection Is Arranged By A Home Buyer

After the seller accepts an offer, the buyer must schedule a house inspection. In addition to an appraisal, the buyer will almost definitely seek a house inspection within a few days of signing the contract to ensure they're making a wise investment. A home inspector will look at the house's structure, roof, electrical system, and plumbing. They will also inspect the interior and exterior of the home for faults, dangers, or mechanical problems, as well as pests.

After the inspection, the inspector will provide the buyer with a report detailing what was inspected and which repairs may be required. The seller should have delivered their seller disclosures before signing the contract. Homeowners are obligated by law to provide a complete disclosure of any challenges they face while living in the house that may have an influence on the property value or appeal of the home. Owners of properties built before 1978, for example, must disclose the existence of lead-based paint. The buyer proceeds to the following level if everything appears to be in order.

title service agent talking to home selller

Home Buyers Applies For Mortgage

The buyer should now proceed with the application for a mortgage loan from the lender of their choice. It's an excellent idea for a buyer to acquire quotations from multiple lenders, and you're not required to choose the lender who pre-approved you. Lenders will inquire about your earnings, job, debts, and assets. Prepare to present the following:

The lender can help you determine which type of mortgage is best for you. This could be a conventional or government-issued loan with a fixed or adjustable-rate mortgage (VA, FHA, USDA). You will be given a loan estimate that explains the terms of your loan, including expected closing costs, interest rate, and monthly payments (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).

Home Seller Gives Contract To Title Company

Following the signing of the real estate contract for the purchase and sale of the home by the buyer and seller, the seller's agent should deliver the contract and earnest money check to a reputable title business, which will develop a working file for the transaction. To protect both the buyer and seller, the title company will open an escrow account and hold the deposit and contract until the closing.

Parties Go Over The Title Commitment

Shortly after handling your real estate contract, the title company will do a thorough title search to validate the property's legal ownership and find any claims or liens on the property. The company will then issue a title insurance commitment, which will be delivered to both the buyer and seller, as well as their agents, and will act as a guarantee to offer a title insurance policy for the property after closing.

Because the title commitment has the same terms, conditions, and exclusions as the actual insurance policy, the buyer should carefully review the document to identify any title problems. It could reveal whether the property has any easements, deed restrictions, or debts. If the buyer objects to an entry on the commitment, he or she must normally do so within a certain time frame, or the flaw will remain as an exception to the final policy.

Home Buyer Receives Mortgage Approval

Receiving mortgage approval, which can take several weeks, is an exciting moment in the closing process for buyers. Before approval, an underwriter will analyze your finances to see whether you can afford the house loan you want and whether the home you're buying provides appropriate collateral for the mortgage. After the underwriting staff has thoroughly evaluated your qualifying qualifications and awarded your loan final approval, you will be able to close on your loan.

Parties Agree On A Closing Date

When the buyer is ready to close, the parties must establish a closing date with the title firm. The closing will take place in your title agent's, real estate agent's, or attorney's office and will mark the completion of your real estate transaction. The parties should expect to sign a lot of documentation, including the deed to the property being transferred from the seller to the buyer. You may be able to sign portions of the documentation ahead of time in some situations. You could even be able to plan an online closing from the convenience of your own home or another place.

Closing Paperwork Is Prepared By The Title Firm

Once your closing date has been determined, the title company will begin preparing the real estate settlement documents for signature.

Buyer documentation could include:

Documents provided by the seller may include:

Home Buyer Obtains A Cashier's Check

At the closing, the buyer is responsible for paying closing costs, the down payment, prepaid interest, property taxes, and insurance. Instead of a personal check, you must submit a cashier's check drawn out in the amount specified by your lender or title insurer before closing day. Your bank certifies that you have sufficient funds to pay the cashier's check amount. Depending on the amount needed for closing, the title firm may require you to use a wire transfer to transfer funds straight from your banking institution to the payee's.

All Parties Are Present To Sign Documentation

On closing day, the parties may convene to sign the documents transferring ownership of the home to the buyer, as well as to pay closing costs, loan fees, and any relevant taxes. While you may be apprehensive as the big day approaches, you can put your mind at ease by gathering your papers, obtaining your cashier's check, and consulting with the title company and your real estate agent ahead of time. They will provide you with a list of items that you must bring to the closure.

Final Requirements Are Distributed

Once the closing is complete, there are only a few things left to do, including:

And You're Done!

After months of due research and preparation, it's time to celebrate - your closing has been 

accomplished, and the buyer is now the official owner of the home!

IndyLegal Is Here To Help!

We understand how stressful the process of buying or selling a home can be. Our knowledgeable title and closing specialists are here to answer your questions and help you with every part of your closing. We strive to make each transaction a great experience for all parties involved, whether you are a buyer or a seller.

Call us at 317-214-6023 to learn more.

Buying a home is not just about looking for a place you like, and then paying for it; it can be an overwhelming process that involves contracts, paperwork, and people.

Now that you've gone through most of the challenging steps, such as finding your dream home and applying for and getting approved for a mortgage, you are ready to close the deal. But before getting a bottle of bubbles and celebrating, you still need to find the right title and escrow company for a stress-free closing process.

In this post, we'll look at how an experienced, efficient, and dependable title and escrow company may help with a variety of tasks that occur before and during the closing stages of a real estate transaction.

Importance Of Finding The Right Title And Escrow Company

Conducting Title Searches

This is an important stage in any real estate transaction that should be completed before the closing. It is the obligation of the title business to research and identify any potential dangers to the buyer's future ownership. To accomplish this, they examine judgments, utility assessments, hidden deeds, taxes, liens, and any other encumbrances that may impact ownership, such as forgery, unreleased mortgages, or undeclared heirs. 

The title company may even be required to investigate issues relating to zoning, use limitations, or improvement restrictions. There are a variety of potential issues that can arise during a title search, and while these issues can be easily discovered by examining public records, an unskilled person would not know what to look for. An expert title and escrow company will quickly detect any potential dangers that could jeopardize the buyer's ownership claim. As a result, the assistance of a reputable and professional organization is critical during this process.

Title Insurance Issuance

Title insurance is another service provided by title and escrow companies. Even while this method should assure that your title is clear of any encumbrances, it is nearly difficult to be confident that nothing will come up later that may jeopardize your property ownership. Once the title search has been completed, you want to ensure that you are covered against anything that was missed during the process, and the best way to do so is to obtain title insurance. A reputable title and escrow business will be able to give you a quality title insurance policy that will protect your investment.

title service company agents

Estimate The Closing Costs

It is the title and escrow company's job to offer complete information regarding the projected closing costs of the real estate transaction.

Assist With Closing and Escrow

During settlement, a title company may also act as a closing agent and/or escrow officer. In this scenario, your title firm will serve as a go-between for the selling and buying parties, ensuring that the relevant paperwork is completed and documented. The title business will also make certain that all money, including closing charges and down payments, is paid and disbursed correctly.

A reputable title and escrow business can make certain that your closing goes off without a hitch. Working with a local company that understands local, state, and federal regulations and how they affect the closing process is a huge benefit.

IndyLegal is an Indiana-based title company that can help with your title services needs. Call us at 317-214-6023 to get started.

The process of buying a house can be bittersweet -- at one point you're excited to live in your dream home, and then the next thing you know, you're stressing over every transaction. This is also true even when it comes to closing. 

Both buyers and sellers eagerly anticipate the closing date stipulated in their contract. But, when you encounter a closing issue, it becomes frustrating. 

On average, a house closing with a mortgage application takes about 45 days. On the other hand, cash transactions that won't require a lender can close in as fast as one week. Meanwhile, sales that include backing from the Federal Housing Administration involve more paperwork and can take about two months or more. 

However, regardless of what or who is involved, other factors can slow down real estate closing.

Reasons Why A Real Estate Closing Can Delay

Problem With Title

Real estate title is the legal right to own property. Property rights include the privilege to use, possess, transfer, and enjoy the property. Though it is not a physical document, it is a legal concept of ownership. Technically, buying the property means buying all its titles.

On the other hand, a deed is a physical document that serves as evidence that transfers title from one party to another. It outlines the transfer terms, identifies the buyer and seller, and identifies the property being acquired. The deed serves as proof when transferring ownership or becoming the new owner.

Real estate title and deed are related in the same way but have different concepts, and understanding the difference is crucial when buying or selling a property. There can also be factors that can slow down the transaction. Title issues can indeed cause complications and delays in real estate transactions, including:

Ownership Disputes – Ownership disputes can be complex and sensitive issues. It requires legal intervention to resolve. Some ownership disputes include:

Inheritance – This is a usual family issue when a person dies without a clear will. Having room for potential heirs and will claim who has the right to the property.

Conflicting Claims – Multiple parties assert ownership rights to the property, which is done through oral agreement or historical record. 

Unclear Boundaries – When a property is not properly defined or has a conflict report.

Fraudulent Transaction – This includes allegations, such as illegal transfer of title or forged signature. 

Errors In Public Documents – It could be worse if there are mistakes in public records, such as incorrect property descriptions or misspelled names, which can lead to confusion and delays. Before everything, such as putting the property on sale, these errors should be corrected so the process can go smoothly without any problems.

Unpaid Taxes – There could be a problem if the current or previous owners have not paid property taxes. The property may have tax liens placed against the house, which need to be resolved before even putting the house on sale and can proceed.

Liens – It’s a legal claim or right made against the asset, which was held as collateral to satisfy a debt. They have the rights or possession of property until the debt was discharged.

Illegal Deeds – This can invalidate the title and require legal action before proceeding with the sale.  

Chain Of Title Documents Errors – With the title search, you can avoid issues like who holds the title property, how the title is held, or if there are any parties interested in the property. The document will show the vesting deed, mortgage, and mortgage assignment.  

Property Dispute

An instrument survey, which is used to check properties, calculates the location by using land surveying instruments. It reflects the property’s boundaries. A face-to-face survey may bring to light property disputes or intrusion into the borders. If solved quickly, parties must sign an affidavit that reflects the resolution of the dispute before putting the home on sale.

buying real estate

Problems During Final Walk-Through

Problems that can arise during the home inspection or final walk-through can influence the real estate transaction. Therefore, real estate agents encourage buyers to arrange a home inspection before closing the deal. This process is crucial to examine the property’s condition and identify if there are any potential problems or issues. 

Home inspectors will inform you and help you decide on the real estate's condition before proceeding with the purchase. 

Problems usually discovered during a home inspection include:

Good communication is essential in solving these problems and looking for ways to find solutions that will satisfy both parties. 

Home Appraisal Discrepancy

A home appraisal determines the market value of a home. The bank’s appraisal value must match or exceed the home’s value or sale price. If the appraisal value falls short, it may cause a delay. 

When both parties agree, the seller can complete home repairs to increase the property’s value or decrease their price. If the closing date is delayed, buyers who miss their agreed-upon closing date might pay a delayed closing penalty. It could also result in a breach of contract and might result in both parties walking away from the deal. 

Completing the appraisal as soon as possible after contract signing enables the parties to resolve any issues before the closing date and prevents parties from walking away. 

Final Thoughts

Real estate closings can be complicated, stressful, and confusing, especially when there's a lack of competent advice or adequate preparation.

If you are considering buying or selling a house, take time to research and follow tips that will make the closing of your property as smooth as possible. Asking for help from a professional, such as a real estate agent or a title service provider can help close a property quickly and hassle-free.
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