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Home Buying 101: 5 Questions to Ask Title Agents

Monday, August 1, 2022

Did you know that the title insurance market size in the U.S. expanded at a compound annual growth rate of 6.6% over the last five years? As of 2022, this market size stands at $22.0 billion.

Title agents offer two basic types of home title insurance - lender's title insurance and owner's title insurance.

So, what is a title agent? A title agent refers to an individual responsible for searching through public records to ensure there are no issues with a home title.

Shopping for your home title insurance may not be the most thrilling experience in buying a house. Still, it's among the most essential home buying steps.

Here, we provide you with five questions to ask title agents.

1. What Are Your Title Insurance Rates?

While this may seem like an obvious question, home buyers forget to ask it most of the time. The cost of your home insurance can vary depending on the price of the home and where you stay.

The state sets the title insurance premiums in a majority of the states. So, you'll pay the same amount regardless of what home title insurance company you go for.

In states that don't regulate title insurance fees like New Mexico, the premiums will vary significantly from one title agent to another.

2. What's the Experience Level of Your Title Insurance Attorney?

A title agency's lawyer plays a significant role in determining whether you can legally take the property's title and get title insurance. So, finding a title agency with an experienced attorney is essential.

Find out the number of successful cases your title agent's attorney has represented successfully. A good attorney for your home title insurance company should have at least three years of experience or more.

3. How Long Does It Take Your Title Agent to Complete a Title Search?

Sometimes, you may be under a tight deadline to reach a settlement depending on the terms of your home sales contract. Besides, you may not know this until you make an offer on the house.

Since this may happen to you, you'll need to find a title agency that conducts title searches in a timely way. Usually, the entire process takes about two weeks.

4. Is the Title Agency Registered With Any Professional Associations?

Being a professional association member isn't a guarantee that the title agency is great. Even so, title agencies belonging to industry groups are often perceived to a higher standard.

Associations like American Land Title Association provide members with special education programs, industry certifications, and business tools to serve clients well.

5. What Is Your Claims Ratio?

Find out the number of title insurance claims your provider gets compared to the total number of customers. That way, you can tell more about how your agency conducts title searches.

High claims-to-customer ratios may indicate your agent's title clearing process will not be as extensive as you'd hoped. So, the claim ratio may form an excellent metric to assess the quality of the provider.

Choosing Title Agents

The availability of many options at your disposal can make buying your title insurance challenging. You must do your due diligence to get the best services from your potential title agents.

With the above questions, you can always make the right choice. Also, talk to your real estate agent and read online reviews when choosing your title agents.

Contact us today for more information about your home title insurance.

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