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• CLOSING  >

Five Tips to Ensure a Smooth Closing
Article by Ginny Abiassi

The devil is in the details. The cliché proves true in countless situations, not the least of which is real estate closings. With so many issues involved in the transaction, it's important to stay on top of every detail. And with so much emotion riding on the closing, you want it to go well - not only in order to secure your commission, but also to provide excellent service to your customers so they will call you the next time they are in the market for a home. Here are five tips to ensure a smooth closing.

1.      Before you submit the sales contract, ask your customer if there has been a recent divorce, death or other situation that would affect title to the property. If so, inform your title agent immediately. Quick turnaround time from contract to closing depends on accurate information.

2.      Whether you are working with the seller or the buyer, if a power of attorney is to be used at closing, the title company will need to review it as soon as possible. If the buyer is using a power of attorney, the lender will need to review it prior to closing as well. In addition, the escrow officer will need to speak with the principals listed on the power of attorney on the day of closing. Valid conveyance of the property requires authentic signatures from the appropriate person, and the escrow officer will need to confirm that the power of attorney is still in effect.

3.      Inform the closer of any special arrangements that may be required for closing. The signatures of all parties are necessary in order to close. Therefore, if someone is unable to attend and documents need to be sent out of state or out of the country, closing will be delayed.

4.      Prior to closing, be sure to provide the closer with the purchaser's hazard insurance information. A homeowner's insurance policy (insuring against theft, fire, etc.) is important to ensure that the property is secured as collateral for the mortgage loan. The lender will require that the certificate of insurance be presented at the closing.

5.      Finally, make sure your customer has "good funds" for the closing. Many states have good funds regulations, which prohibit a title company from making any disbursements from its escrow account until all money involved in the transaction is good funds. Not all rules are the same in all states, but typically good funds may include: cash, wire-transferred funds and cashier's checks. Personal checks, money orders or traveler's checks may be accepted with certain restrictions. Contact your title insurance professional to determine what constitutes "good funds" in your state.

Remember that while the buyer and seller may be emotional or excited, the closing is actually a legal transaction involving transfer of property and execution of a new mortgage loan. The better a partnership is between you and your title professional, the smoother the closing will be.

Click the Texas Style section to discover how real estate transactions are conducted in our great state!

OUR EMPHASIS IS ON WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU

    • Deposit Earnest Money into Escrow Account
    • Perform Title/Real Estate Tax Search
    • Assist Seller in Clearing Title Defects
    • Coordinate Closing New Lender, Buyer, Seller, Realtors
    • Collect and Pay All Debt Associated with Transaction
    • Signing, Acknowledgement & Notarization of Closing Documents
    • Record Documents with County Clerk
    • Prepare & Provide Title Insurance Policies
• TAXES  >

Texas Appraisal District Tax Information


As a property owner in Texas, you are required to pay ad valorem taxes on Real Estate.  Property is taxed each year by a variety of jurisdictions, and usually includes county, city and school district.  Junior college and hospital tax will typically be built into overall tax assessments also.When purchasing property in Texas, you must notify the proper taxing authorities of your ownership so the tax rolls will reflect the change.  You may do so by contacting the appropriate tax appraisal district.  Each county within the State of Texas has their own appraisal district, however, most of the districts that this office typically works with are listed below.  If you want more complete property tax information or need to research a county not listed here, the State Comptroller has a site that is available for public use: www.window.state.tx.us .Several forms of tax relief are available in Texas.  Among these are various exemptions which may reduce the taxable value of your property.  Applying for exemptions is the property owner’s responsibility, therefore, it is important to contact the appropriate County Tax Appraisal District to learn more about the following types of exemptions:

General Homestead Exemption

Over 65 Exemption

Disabled Individual Exemption

Disabled Veteran’s Exemption

Tax statements are generally mailed in October of each year.  The taxes are payable on or after October 1.  However, you may elect to pay them as late as January 31 without penalty or interest.  Taxes become delinquent February 1, and on this date penalties and interest accrue.  If you receive a Tax Statement and your mortgage company is escrowing funds for taxes from your monthly payments, forward the Tax Statement to your mortgage company for payment of taxes.For your convenience, the Appraisal Districts may be contacted by phone or online.

Collin County Appraisal District

972-578-5200

www.collincad.org

Dallas County Central Appraisal District

214-631-0910

www.dallascad.org

Denton County Appraisal District

940-566-0904

www.dentoncad.com

Ellis County Appraisal District

972-937-3552

www.elliscad.org

Rockwall County Appraisal District

972-771-2034

www.txcountydata.com

Tarrant County Appraisal District

817-284-0024

www.tad.org

 

• TEXAS STYLE  >

Title Companies--Texas Style


People coming from different areas of the country may be accustomed to a variety of closing practices. In Texas, where our reputation precedes us as "Bigger and Better", many things involving real estate are also very different, and we like to think, better. This is especially true when examining the title company’s role in a real estate transaction.In Texas, title companies perform all inclusive functions, acting as a Fiduciary Agent, Bonded Escrow Agent and Title Insurer. All Texas title companies are regulated by the State Board of Insurance, thus their premiums are the same throughout the state. Title companies are neutral, disinterested third parties and highly regulated.  The primary difference between title companies in Texas is the level of service and commitment to quality that is offered to their customers.Establishing a relationship with a knowledgeable Escrow Officer will be one of the best choices you make once you have decided to relocate. We can provide you with our Home Buying Time Line to assist you in all the details and deadlines that accompany a home purchase. If necessary, we can provide a variety of names to you for financing options, inspections and insurance needs. From those names, you are free to make your own selections.We also coordinate the details between your lender, the insurance agent, inspector, Sellers and Realtors (if any). It is our goal to make your closing with Reunion Title the easiest aspect of your entire move to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. Our Escrow Officers are highly trained and have handled countless relocations over the years. Each of our dedicated Officers is dedicated to making your transaction close as smoothly as possible.

* The statements made on this web page and any page that follows within the Reunion Title website are not intended, and shall not be construed to expressly or impliedly issue or deliver any form of written guaranty, affirmation, indemnification, or certification of any fact, insurance coverage or conclusion of law.
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