It’s easy to see why choosing your title and settlement company can cause feelings of fear and frustration. There’s probably a good chance that you’re not even sure what role a closing company in a real estate transaction is or where to even begin in your search for choosing the right company.
Even though you will receive plenty of recommendations from your realtor, it’s a good idea to do your own research and interview a few potential candidates before making a decision. Remember, you’re entrusting this company with a lot of money to ensure that you get to move into your dream home in a timely fashion. Asking a few questions prior to is definitely a good idea. Here are some examples to get the ball rolling:
- Are you locally owned and operated? National companies are enticing, but when it comes to closing on your home, local is better. Why? For starters, a local company knows the local market. You’re more likely to receive a faster response time as well and you’re investing into your community.
- Are you a neutral third party? While it’s completely legal for title and settlement companies to be owned by real estate firms, contractors and mortgage lenders, it would be hard to argue that their recommendations wouldn’t be biased. Choosing a closing company that is completely independent of all parties involved helps keep the playing field level.
- How is my money protected? You’re about to hand over a lot of money to someone that may have never even met. Knowing how your money is going to be protected is a completely viable question to ask. Ask your underwriter for their rating, which can be graded anywhere from an A+ to a C.
- May I contact your references? Ask for a list of references, randomly choose a few names and start dialing. Ask them how smooth their transaction was, if they felt satisfied with the value of the services that were provided and if they would use them again for their next closing.