Shopping for Title Insurance
Consumers are free to shop for title insurance and closing services and to select a title company of their liking. Many consumers rely on their real estate agent or lender for a recommendation for a title company since they are in a position to know which companies provide good service. However, you are not required to use the title company they recommend if there is a different company providing better services.
How Title Insurance and Closing Fees are Calculated
The fees collected by a title agent vary from company to company and are primarily based on the size and complexity of the transaction, the difficulty of the title research and the existence of title insurance on the property prior to its sale. Some fees may or may not include other services provided by the title company such as conducting the closing, preparing closing documents, adding endorsements to the policy which may be required (usually by the lender or buyer), and other services. When comparing one company's fees to another, be sure to get detailed information on what is included so you are comparing equally.
Here are some terms that would be helpful to know when talking to a title company. Ask your title company which of these you may qualify for:
Basic Rate: The rate charged to a consumer who does not qualify for a reduced rate such as, but not limited to, the reissue rate. (see below).
Reissue Rate: The reduced rate for an Owner's Policy issued on a property which was previously insured within some period of years.
Now that you know some of the basics, you can start calling title companies in your area to ask for a quote on title and closing fees. Remember to ask for details about what is included in the rate.