I always strive to deliver an exceptional customer experience when I list your property or help you find a new home. An important part of my service involves looking out for your bottom line.
Many different players are involved in each transaction, and everyone wants a slice of the pie.
One important organization whose fees are often overlooked is the title company. We recently surveyed title companies and discovered that fees vary significantly.
Furthermore, picking the wrong title company could cost you thousands of dollars.
Why You Need a Title Company
Title companies serve two important roles in the real estate transaction:
- They ensure you get clear title to the property you are buying, and they provide insurance coverage to protect you from title defects.
- They conduct the closing, which entails collecting money, paying off loans, disbursing funds to different parties, and recording your deed and mortgage with the county.
Title Insurance Premiums
Title insurance premiums are regulated by the State. Every title company charges the same for owner’s and lender’s coverage. Rates are tiered as follows:
- Up to $150,000 – $5.75 per $1,000
- Over $150,000 to $250,000 – $4.50 per $1,000
- Over $250,000 to $500,000 – $3.50 per $1,000
- Over $500,000 to $10 million – $2.75 per $1,000
- Over $10 million – $2.25 per $1,000
- Minimum premium is $175
In Central Ohio the seller pays for the buyer’s owner policy. That’s why the seller selects the title company.
Alternatively, the lender’s title policy costs an additional $100 if issued simultaneously with the owner’s policy.
Title companies will give you a 30% discount on the owner’s policy, if you had title insurance within the past 10 years.
Other Fees Charged by Title Agencies
With the exception of the title insurance premium, the buyer pays much higher fees than the seller. Here’s a short summary of fees charged by title companies:
- Closing or settlement fee
- Processing fee
- Title search fee
- Title commitment fee
- Deed preparation fee
- Title examination fee
- Wire fees
- Recording service fee
- Courier service fee
- Closing protection coverage
- Various endorsements (e.g. condominium, environmental protection lien, survey, …)
Some of these have a purpose and may be required by the lender, while others are “junk fees” and pure profit for the title company.
Comparing Title Companies
We compiled the fees of 10 different tile companies and found that the fees charged to buyers vary by more than $1,000.
Even for sellers some charge twice as much as the least expensive title agency.
Why are fees different?
Several title companies are affiliated with real estate brokerages. These joint ventures result in brokerages getting paid by these agencies. It’s an incentive for their agents to refer business.
We believe this is wrong. You, as the buyer or seller, are the one who’s paying these fees. That’s why RE/MAX 24/7 is NOT affiliated with any title company.
I always recommend the title agency that offers the lowest fees and excellent customer service.
Call or text me TODAY at (614) 975-9650. Don’t get overcharged by a title agency that’s paying Realtors.
Susanne Novak has been a Realtor since 2007. She is the broker and owner of RE/MAX 24/7 in the Dublin Historic District. Susanne typically helps 50-60 families each year with their real estate needs. She's your trusted advisor when you search for your dream home, and a skilled negotiator when she lists your property to get top dollar when you sell.