Rlw, Home Seller in Oklahoma City, OK

Am selling a house in Oklahoma. Buyer is paying cash. Do we still need to go thru title company? What about closing costs?

Asked by Rlw, Oklahoma City, OK Fri Apr 8, 2011

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For protection of both seller and buyer, you need to go through a title company. Not only does the title need to be brought up to date, but title insurance will protect both in case something has been filed of record. Imagine that a lien or something else has been filed of record that puts a cloud on the title. That would possible make the property unsellable in the future. Then the purchaser could go back and sue the seller. Two or three years down the road, when the seller has moved on and is no longer thinking about this property, it would be very disconcerting to be in a legal battle. For the protection of both, it is imperative that a title company is used to complete this transaction.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
It's in the buyers best interest to go through a title company, but not necessarily the sellers. If the buyer is willing to hand you over a big fat wad of cash without involving an attorney to at least prove that you actually own the place, then I'm surprised.

Otherwise, if you get an attorney's opinion of title, which is just a general report of what liens exist on the property (if any) and who actually owns the property, the cost of the report and attorney's opinion is $75 to $150 dollars. But keep in mind it is just that... an opinion of title.

If the buyer wants a guarantee they have clear and marketable title, the attorney will have to analyze the abstract. An abstract looks like a phone book in most cases, depending on how old the property is. It is a record of every single person who has ever owned the property since it was built. The attorney combs through this data and determines that everybody's i's were dotted and t's were crossed over the past 50 to 100 years, or whenever the property was built. After the abstract has been thoroughly analyzed, the attorney makes a more informed "opinion" of how clear the title actually is. And since a lot more thorough investigation has been performed, a group of guys who own a title insurance company will grant a policy on the property based on this attorney's findings. This insurance policy GUARANTEES the title is clear and marketable, even if the attorney made a mistake when analyzing the abstract. So, if somebody from the past comes along and claims to have equitable interest in the property, the insurance will pay them off if their case has validity - no questions asked. A title policy will normally cost the buyer $350 to $500 dollars.

Depending on if you have the abstract in your possession or if it was lost years and years ago depends on your cost. If you have to rebuild the abstract from scratch, it can cost upwards of $1,500 to $2,000 dollars. If you have the abstract in your possession or if it is in a security deposit box at the title company you closed the property at, then it will save you hundreds of dollars. In that case, you are looking at about $500 to $1,000 dollars.

Hypothetically speaking, if you just do a title report and attorney's opinion plus recording fees for the deed, closing costs will run $250 to $400.

If the buyer opts to get title insurance and you have the abstract in your possession, you are looking at $350 to $500 for title insurance (usually paid by the buyer) and another $250 to $500 for the attorney to analyze the abstract (Usually split 50/50 between buyer and seller since it benefits them both - they want to buy and you want to sell)

If you don't have the abstract and the attorney has to rebuild it, it will cost $1,000 to $1,500 or more plus $350 to $500 for title insurance.

Hope that helps. Mainly, this is something your buyer would want to do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 23, 2012
Absolutely! The absract needs to be brought up for the buyer's protection. They need to know about any liens or mortgages on the property. They should buy title insurance to protect them from any unforseen problems. I believe it's definitely worth the money.

Bridgett Wells
Keller Williams Northwest
651-9320
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
it is best to do it so that title search is done and abstract is updated. The buyer has the option to buy or not buy title insurance, I would reccommend it. The title company can give you a list of the costs. You don't have to do it, but as a seller you'll want to be sure the title transfer really takes place and that you're clear of it. You also need to be sure to fill out the required disclosure or disclaimers, using a title company ensures this for you. I've seen several transactions between people that trusted each other and just exchanged a deed with no known problems (might come up later when the buyer decides to sell). You can do it without all of that...but it is at your risk and the buyer's risk. Know your risks and then decide.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
Closing costs are limited to those which are customarily paid by the seller in your state unless there is an agreement within the contract that both the Purchaser and Seller have signed. In VA sellers pay Grantor's Tax, lien releases, Preparation of the Deed, any pro-rated taxes and/or HOA dues and realtors fees. Seller's do not pay for Title search or title insurance in VA. That is usually required by a bank or a note-holder. It is up to the Purchaser to purchase title insurance or not if it is an ALL CASH transaction. Whoever is doing the closing for you can explain all of the closing costs involved in OK for the Seller, however your contractural agreement overrides any customary division of closing costs.

Whatever you do, don't just get the cash and walk away.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
I would at least work with a title company. If your still a little uncomfortable, talk to a Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
YES! You will need to either hire an attorney or a title company to do the title exam and abstracting, they will also record the transfer. Otherwise, you will have a total mess on your hands and possibly end up in court. As Michael stated, the title company or attorney can give you an estimate of fees.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
Yes you need to go thru a title company so they can check the records to see that there
are no liens or title problems on the property. Closing costs should be stated in your
contract to sell.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
Yes, you still need to use a title company or attorney to effect the transfer of title from the owner to the buyer.

The title company or attorney that you use will be able to give you an estimate of fees prior to closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
If there is no loan on the house and you have a cash buyer, you could just exchange cash and walk away. I would not suggest that, but it is possible. I, as the buyer, I would want a title search, a deed in my name, and have it registered at the courthouse and this is going to require a lawyer or closing company (you might call it a title company) that will close it for the buyer and you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 8, 2011
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