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Title Insurance Process

Buying or selling a home can seem daunting, especially in the fast-moving real estate market in the Fort Bend area. Here’s what you can expect in the process.

Every home and every closing is different, so your experience may vary. Your Escrow Officer, Realtor, or Lender can help answer questions about your specific needs.

  • Buyer and Seller each find a Realtor.
    • Get recommendations from family, friends, and colleagues you trust.
    • Choose someone who listens to your wants and needs. Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest life decisions most people make, so you should be driving the process.
  • Buyer chooses a Lender
    • Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage means fewer surprises when you find your dream home.
  • Buyer finds the perfect home!
    • Discuss your offer with your agent, being realistic about what you can afford.
    • Realtor presents an offer to the Seller or Seller’s agent.
  • Earnest Money contract is signed.
    • Buyer and Seller, with their agents, should carefully review this contract, as it includes all of the terms of the potential sale.
    • Earnest money contracts typically include an “earnest money” deposit from the buyer, usually 1-3% of the purchase price.
  • Open Title
    • Realtor requests that Fort Bend Title “opens title” on the property.
    • Earnest money deposited into escrow with Fort Bend Title.
  • Title Examination
    • Title Examiners research the title history of the property, including previous deeds, liens, taxes due, judgments, easements, and anything else that might affect title to the property. This is the stage where the title company verifies the legal owner of the property and determines whether there are any debts against the property.
  • Survey
    • A survey is ordered by either the title company or another party. The survey is necessary so that all parties know exactly the boundaries of the property, including any easements and encroachments that may be present.
  • Title Commitment
    • A Commitment to Issue Title Insurance is just that – a commitment to insure the title on the property. This will include any exceptions which are clouding the title and may need to be cleared prior to closing.
  • Clearing the Exceptions
    • Using the Title Commitment as a guide, Fort Bend Title contacts current lienholders, taxing authorities, and any other party whose interests may be clouding the title. The title company obtains payoff information from those parties, so that the title may be clean at closing.
  • Closing – the big day!
    • Depending on the property and your loan, closing cannot happen until the title company has the following documents:
      • Signed earnest money contract, with earnest money deposited into escrow
      • Survey
      • Property inspection and/or appraisal, and any other reports required by lender
      • Payoff information from existing lienholders
      • Statements from taxing authorities and homeowners’ associations
      • Proof of homeowner’s insurance
      • Loan documents from lender
      • Proof of down payment, either by wire transfer or cashier’s check
    • Fort Bend Title will work with all parties to ensure that the day and time of the closing work for everyone. Taxes and any other payments will be pro-rated to that date.
    • Buyer and Seller sign all relevant documents. Your Escrow Officer is there during the entire closing to answer any last-minute questions and to ensure that all of the paperwork is in order.
  • Funding
    • Down payment and closing costs deposited into escrow
    • Lender sends balance of purchase price to be deposited into escrow
    • Fort Bend Title issues payments out of escrow to previous lender, seller, any other lienholders via wire transfer, taxing authorities, Realtors, and any other relevant parties.
    • Fort Bend Title records the Deed and any other legal documents with the County Clerk.
  • New homeowner gets keys and moves in!