Let’s Talk Title Companies: Who Chooses?

An effective leader allows exceptions to the rule for exceptional results or when circumstance demands.

John Wooden

What I love about Real Estate is the ever-changing market. It is never the same. Rules change, contracts change, regulations change, everything changes. It poses new obstacles to overcome. New regulations to learn. New ways to close transactions. Anyone in this industry: title, loan, or realtor; must learn to adapt through the changes. Sometimes that requires thinking outside of the box.

Recently, I had a Realtor complaining to me about her lack of control in a transaction. Her and the seller felt forced to close somewhere they didn’t prefer. All because of a rule that enforces this. Just like any other industry, there is good and bad to title. As I listened to her complain, I started thinking; can customers have more control over this choice? I mean, where you close affects EVERYONE not just one side of the equation.

Let’s examine WHO gets to choose the title company: customary is that whomever pays for the full rate owner’s title policy has the ability to select the title insurance company. This customary is different throughout the state of Florida. For example, in the Tallahassee regions, buyers pay for their title insurance fees and choose the title company; whereas the remainder of Florida, sellers typically pay and choose. At no point can anyone coerce a party to use a particular company.

There are pros and cons for each side wanting to choose. It is important as an Agent on either side to weigh those pros and cons when negotiating a contract. While each region may have a certain customary, it doesn’t change the ability to redirect closings to best suit your customers. How do you do that? It’s all about the numbers! Knowing the cost of closing will help you guide your customers on their negotiations.

If you have a buyer who really wants to pick their title company, then ask for more seller paid closing costs to offset the cost they would customarily pay for title insurance. If you have a seller who really wants to pick their title company, offer to pay title with a reduced buyer paid closing cost credit in lieu of a higher credit. At the end of the day, the bottom line will still be the same for the seller whether they pay a portion of the fees and a reduced flat credit to the buyer, or less fees and a larger buyer credit.

Have a title company on hand that can run these numbers with you when you are working deals. Of course, I have an UH-MAZING title company to recommend. ? The goal is closing the deal, and making sure the clients get the service they deserve. A smooth closing will always generate return and referral business. Let us help you attain the smoothest closings ever!

AUTHOR: Jessica E. Bennett, Licensed Title Agent

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author, and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.