What to expect from the title process
The question we get asked the most is “When can we close?” As soon as you send us a title order, the countdown begins to the day of closing. Our preparations for closing your deal will involve several steps, designed to protect and inform all parties. Learn more about them below.
Step 1: Opening a new order
When we receive an order, either for a sale/purchase or refinance, we open a new file in our system, assign the file to one of our underwriters, and send out an email confirmation to all identified parties. The confirmation email also includes the details of your order as we received it; you can respond to the email to confirm the details or to make corrections and include additional parties as needed.
Step 2: Title search, review, and commitment
Once the file is opened, we promptly begin our examination of the property’s title. Normally this work is done by our own title examiners, but for counties outside of Metro Detroit we may order title work from a third-party service. Either way, the examiner will search the property and determine what requirements (if any) are needed to clear the transaction for closing. Our agency then creates a “Title Commitment” document that lists all the requirements for closing, and all the exceptions that will be listed on the final insurance policy. The commitment is distributed to all the parties in the deal, and is also used by our processors when working up the file for closing.
Step 3: Readying the file for closing
Once the parties are ready to schedule closing, our processor will gather additional information for other items to be handled at closing, such as outstanding property taxes, broker commission, Seller mortgage payoffs, and Buyer loan fees. At this stage, we make sure that all the requirements listed on the commitment will be fulfilled by the date of closing, if not before.
As the date of closing approaches, our processor communicates directly with the Buyer and Seller to make sure mortgages and associations will be paid in full, confirm the correct party names and authorized signers, and arrange for the closing process. The processor also drafts and circulates our closing documents, most importantly a “Settlement Statement” or “CD” showing how the money is to be collected and disbursed to close your deal. Be sure to review all closing documents and let us know any corrections or other changes you may have!
Step 4: Closing
The last few years have encouraged the title industry to provide a variety of options for buyers and sellers to close their real estate deals, anywhere, any time. We’re committed to offering multiple closing options, all secure and reliable, to accommodate clients who prefer a classic at-the-table closing; those whose schedule or location doesn’t permit an in-person closing; and those who need to coordinate an extended closing with multiple parties, signing locations, and even across multiple days.
At closing, our closing agent will present the closing documents to the Buyer and Seller for signature. The closing agent will ask the property owner additional questions about any recent changes to the property, to ensure our information (and our insurance coverage) is as up-to-date as possible. Additional documents, such as loan documents or business sale documents, may also be signed at closing. Once all parties have properly executed the closing documents, the closing agent will disburse funds and distribute copies of the closing documents.
Step 5: Post-closing
Once the closing is concluded, we prepare the recordable documents (deeds, mortgages, discharges, etc.) to send to the county Register of Deeds for recording. Wherever possible, this is done electronically to ensure timely transfer of ownership in the public records. Once the recorded documents are returned to us, we check the property’s title records one final time, and then prepare our final title policy. Finally, the recorded documents and policy are distributed to the proper parties, and our file is closed.