Real Estate Closings and Title Insurance

Purchasing or refinancing a property can be a long and sometimes difficult process for the consumer. Cumberland Title knows you’ve worked hard for your client to get them through the paperwork and headaches. So we’ll take it from here. We’ll work hard to ensure the closing is timely and correct.

How Does It Work?

Cumberland Title receives the request for service – the “go ahead” – and we begin by searching the title (about a week). We then prepare the commitment and send it to the bank/broker. Once they give us the “clear to close,” the settlement statement will be created and approved, and the closing can be scheduled. From beginning to end, the process could range from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the complexities of that particular transaction. Remember, Cumberland Title represents the lender in this process, but we will of course answer questions you might have and aid in resolving disputes that may arise during the closing process.

What to Bring to Closing

The borrower will be required to provide a valid form of identification: a driver’s license, passport, or other photo ID. Any funds they bring to closing (they will be informed of the amount prior to closing) must be in the form of a certified bank check or a wire transfer.

Defining It

In order to help answer any questions that may arise, here are a few commonly encountered terms:

Title Title is the right to, or ownership of, a specific real estate property.  There are many ways to hold title in Maine – be sure to contact us with questions regarding this.

Title Search A title search determines that the person who is selling the property has the right to sell it, and that the buyer is getting all the rights to the property that they are paying for. Before you purchase a property, Cumberland Title does an initial search  to determine the history of ownership and ensure it is clear of defects, liens, easements, encroachments, or other restrictions on the property. If any issues were discovered during the title search, a title company works to clear the title of those issues. Once the title is clear, it can be covered by title insurance.

Title Insurance A title insurance policy assures the buyer that they have purchased a valid title. Title insurance provides protection against judgments or liens against the seller or previous owners. The title insurance company will, at its own expense, defend the title and will pay losses within the coverage of the policy if they occur. The cost of title insurance will depend on the purchase price of the property.

Title insurance protects a homeowner or lender against financial loss from real estate title defects or liens against a property. Any property that has undergone several transfers of ownership — including when it was undeveloped land — could have a hidden title issue that can affect the current homeowner or lender.

If you are purchasing a home with a loan, your lender typically requires you to purchase a lender’s title insurance policy to protect their interest in the property. If you are purchasing a home, you should purchase owner’s title insuranceand here’s why.

Deed A document that specifies that the seller guarantees that they hold clear title to a property and have the right to sell it to the buyer. Ownership, and all the rights and duties of each individual that holds the title for a property, is recorded in a legal document that is filed with public records, known as the deed.

Mortgage Survey Plan/Plot Plan This is a rough sketch of the land and building to be mortgaged in order to determine any violations in zoning or encroachments on neighboring properties. It is usually done for sale transactions.

Closing Fees include a variety of items, as a title company fulfills multiple duties. These will be discussed in detail at the closing, but in general this fee includes:

  • ordering, obtaining and reviewing the title;
  • obtaining tax information;
  • payoff of liens, previous mortgages, etc.;
  • loan document preparation;
  • communications with borrowers, sellers, broker, etc.;
  • conducting the closing;
  • final recording of documents; and, any other matters relating to the loan closing.