Settlement Process

Basic Steps to a Real Estate Settlement

A real estate settlement and the issuance of a title insurance policy occurs after numerous investigations and other research actions have been taken by a title agent. The basic steps to getting to a real estate settlement are:

  1. Creating a Settlement Order
    The process will begin with a request for title insurance from a buyer, their realtor, or their lender after the buyer and their seller have signed an agreement for the sale of real estate. This is usually accompanied with a deposit check.
  2. Initial Title Inquiries
    The title agency orders a title search, tax certifications, loan payoffs, homeowners/maintenance fees, judgment searches, and numerous other searches
  3. Title Search
    The title search is the most important precursor to our issuing an owner’s or lender’s title insurance policy. Public records are researched to determine any possible title defects. Records include deeds, mortgages, plats and plans, covenants, judgment searches, liens, wills, divorce settlements and other documents affecting title to the property.
  4. Title Examination
    The documents found during the title search that affect the title to the property are examined by experienced staff. It any problems arise, the examiner will have the title searcher perform additional research. Verification of the legal owner and debts owed against the property or against the owner are determined
  5. Title Processing
    Upon completion of the title search and examination, the title agency now begins the task of preparing for the closing. Title Processing is the critical step of reviewing all the information that has been obtained in preparation for the closing. This step includes fixing or reconciling any problems found during the preparation, and coordinating with the lender, realtors, buyers, sellers, attorneys, and any other parties needed to properly conclude the real estate settlement.
  6. Document Preparation
    The title agent prepares and reviews title documents, lender documents, lender closing instructions, requirements, and other instructions from parties to the transaction. The closing settlement statements are prepared and the closing date is scheduled.
  7. Settlement or Closing the Transaction
    The title agent will handle all aspects of the real estate settlement. The seller will sign the deed and other critical documents. The buyer will sign the new mortgage, loan documents and title documents. Any liens affecting the property or the seller will be paid off.
  8. Post Closing
    The title agent will forward payment to any prior lender, and pay all parties who performed services in connection with the closing. The transaction documents are then recorded in the county public records. Title insurance policies will then be sent to the new lender and to the buyer.