Buying and/or selling a home or other real property is a significant event, normally requiring the services of a number of real estate professionals, including a Title Company. Milestone Title plays an important role in the purchase and sale of real estate and has constant involvement from the time the contract is signed until the completion of the transfer of title. At the time the contract is signed, you have the right to request Milestone Title as your title company of choice, and it is important that you understand the services that we provide.
Initially, Milestone Title will receive a copy of the Sales Contract and the “Earnest Money Deposit” usually from your Realtor or Loan Officer. At that time, Milestone Title will act in a fiduciary* capacity, and the earnest money deposit will be placed into our escrow account until settlement.
Milestone Title will then hire an abstractor who goes to the courthouse and examines the public land records to investigate the history and title to the property. Some of the facts they will obtain are:
Once Milestone receives the Abstract Report, we will examine the report, resolve all potential title issues and reflect all such matters in a “Commitment of Title Insurance” or “Title Insurance Binder” that will be issued to the Mortgage Lender and the buyer.
In the time between receipt of the sales contract and the day of settlement, Milestone Title will maintain close contact with the mortgage lender, Realtor(s), and attorney(s), to obtain the documentation necessary for closing the transaction. When the closing date and time have been set, the lender will send the closing instructions and loan documents to Milestone Title. We will then compile all of the mortgage lender’s charges, fees, title company fees, and other closing costs into a final Settlement Statement called the “HUD-1”. At that point, the buyer will be informed of the exact amount of funds needed for the closing which must be in the form of a wire transfer. The buyer should, however, have had an estimate given to them by their loan officer early on, called a “Good Faith Estimate” which would have given them an idea of what their closing costs would be.
The parties will agree on a date and time for closing. Once all of the parties are assembled at Milestone Title, the Settlement Attorney or Settlement Agent will review and explain all of the paperwork and the buyers and sellers will execute the documents. Milestone Title assumes the responsibility of collecting all funds necessary for the transfer and the prompt and accurate disbursement of such monies. After the closing has taken place, Milestone Title will make sure that the mortgage lender’s requirements have been fulfilled and all of the necessary paperwork returned to them, all outstanding liens have been fully paid, the legal documents are recorded in land records, and the title insurance policies are prepared and sent out.
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*A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care imposed at either equity or law. A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom they owe the duty (the “principal“): they must not put their personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from their position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents.