The Closing Process
This is what we do: We spend a majority of our time and resources preventing claims and protecting property rights. We take preventative measures to eliminate claims and protect customers. We discover, identify and repair events that occurred in the past. In one out of every three title searches, we find issues. We examine the history of properties contained in the public records. We scrutinize deeds, mortgages, divorce decrees, court judgments, delinquent taxes, restrictive covenants, easements, trust agreements, surveys and plats… We do curative work to minimize the possibility that title hazards will threaten your ownership or use of your property.
Successful closings always start with a complete title search. The title plant at Southwestern Title dates from 1985, giving us 25 years of real estate title information at our fingertips. Our highly experienced title department goes back further as necessary to establish the color of title. Once the search has been completed, a title commitment is issued that says we promise, along with a national underwriter, to provide title insurance based upon the information contained within the commitment (aka binder). These typically have 3 components: Schedule A shows the current status of title for the exact legal description we searched; Schedule B-1 shows requirements of what will need to take place for clear title to transfer between two parties, and; Schedule B-2 shows everything of public record that a purchaser will be taking title subject to (such as covenants). We are often able to deliver a new binder to you within 2 days of your order placement with us.
FOR A COMPLETE PICTURE of the closing process and of special note of interest for buyers, please click on the following link to see further information of value to you: http://www.homeclosing101.org/
Escrow is the name for the process between two parties agreeing to a sale and the actual closing or settlement process. As an fully insured and long standing title and escrow company, we gather and hold funds and documents “in escrow” during the time between the contract and closing. Southwestern Title & Escrow boasts SEVEN of the most experienced and respected escrow officers in the area, with experience ranging from 37 years to 10 years. Each one appears on this website with their direct phone # and their email address for easy contact. And our four escrow assistants are invaluable in our escrow success stories.
Purchases of real property (land, with or without improvements) can be emotional events for sellers and buyers. Our professionalism and quality of service allows both parties to trust that the transaction will go smoothly. Once we are provided a copy of the purchase agreement, we follow the contractual language within that document and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction all through the process. At any time, if you are in need of information or further explanation, your escrow officer or their assistant will gladly respond with answers or information. Insist on the best service and please let us know if you are ever unhappy with the job we are doing. Quality is of utmost importance.
During escrow, we will usually send you email updates of the events that are scheduled to happen while the closing date approaches. We will provide a digital image of a new survey that would be completed for the transaction, plus share monetary information with the appropriate parties, such as payoff quotes and new loan fees. You can rely on us to accurately handle the pro-ration of property taxes, plus we always deliver executed forms to the County, providing new owner information.
Just prior to closing, we provide buyers with our Bank wiring instructions so they can arrange funds to be sent for the closing. Sellers are asked how we might disburse their net proceeds. On the day of closing and funding, once we have ALL funds required and ALL documents necessary for the transaction to be completed, we proceed to the Santa Fe County Clerk’s office to record the Deed (and/or Mortgage) and any other legal documents that are part of the transaction. We do a final updated search of the public records just before recording our documents to make certain nothing has happened since we issued the original title binder. After recording, we then able to disburse funds to parties scheduled to receive money from the closed transaction. Usually, the disbursement of funds can occur the same day as the recordings, if there is enough time left in the business day.
Records of each and every step along the way, plus copies of all documents and correspondence are retained in our files. We scan the important paperwork for ease of retrieval in the future. The hard copy file is retained by an insured third party for a period of time much longer than our statutory requirements. We look forward to the day when the largest share of papers can be handled electronically and keep our storage needs to file servers and computers instead of a warehouse full of paper.
Premiums are determined by the regulatory body that oversees our industry. Title premiums have been the subject of a great deal of review lately and looking back, have actually gone down approximately 14 of the last 20 years. Since we are very much a regulated industry, what we charge for title insurance is strictly by our rules and regulations. If at all possible, we are happy to provide any earned discount or reissue rate that can result in savings to the consumer. The “closing fee” that a buyer or seller will see on their settlement statement is the reasonable charge for our time and effort, ranging from a low of $250 to a high slightly in excess of $1000 per transaction. These are typically split 50/50 between the two sides of the sale. In a conventional closing without a great deal of complication and extra instructions, the escrow officer and the other staff members here will put in well in excess of 15 full hours of work over the escrow term, including the closing meeting and all of the follow up that we gladly provide. On more complex transactions, the time we invest, not to mention the extensive use of technology, can approach 50 hours time. When the cost fo that professional help is calculated, we believe we provide a great deal of value for a proper fee.
The Closing Process is supposed to be an enjoyable event, where a seller completes a long arduous process of selling a property (and is about to receive money) and a buyer becomes the proud new owner of the home they plan to occupy for many years. Even with investor transactions, the closing process should be pleasant and professional throughout. We strive to make it that way for all concerned parties. And we are always grateful for the opportunity to provide the service.