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Terry Yonker, Real Estate Pro in Punta Gorda, FL

Title Insurance - who is responsible, buyer or seller?

Asked by Terry Yonker, Punta Gorda, FL Sun Jun 10, 2012

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Since it's a negotiable item, as both you and Ron have said, local custom usually prevails. Here in my neck of the woods (southeast Volusia County), the Seller usually purchases the title insurance for the Buyer (the "owner's" policy).

When I'm taking a listing, I usually explain to the Seller that, by providing the owner's title insurance policy, they are showing the Buyer that they have clear title to the property (no liens or judgments against it), and are in a position to sell it.

However, that being said, if I'm working with a Buyer who is purchasing a foreclosure, I suggest to the Buyer that he/she pay for the owner's policy, and the associated search and examination, done by an attorney or title company of their choosing, and insist that the search go back beyond the current ownership.

Otherwise, if the lender selling the foreclosure pays for the owner's policy, that lender will only provide a policy that covers their time of ownership (which could be a few months, or even weeks), and offers little real protection to a Buyer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 11, 2012
Title insurance is negotiated on the contract by the buyer and seller. Either one can pay for it. Here is a link to a title insurance calculator if you want to see what the fees would be. http://csbtitle.com/calculator/

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Green Lion Realty, Port Charlotte, FL
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 11, 2012
Traditional is The Seller pays for Owner's Title Policy,
and the Buyer pays for Lender's Title Policy.

That said, anything is negotiable.

Choose a Title Company and go in and meet an Escrow Officer:
They are working for the Principles, bi-laterally.
Ask them to do a hypothetical HUD1, giving them a proximity of the Selling Price;
they will produce a doc that shows what each of you will pay, in two columns.

Good luck and may God bless
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 10, 2012
The title insurance is a negotiated item that can be paid for by the buyer OR seller, depending on local convention. In this part of Charlotte county, convention is that seller pays title, for no other reason than 'thats the way things been done 'round here forever!' Paying for title allows you to typically choose the title agent and therefore work with someone that the listing agent has a track record on and can count on.

If you paid for title insurance when you bought it, you have to reinsure it again when the new buyer takes over. If you have a copy of the policy you may be able to get a reissue credit, but it will still have to be purchased again.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 10, 2012
The contract will stipulate who is responsible for the title insurance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2014
It's negotiable and I always write my contracts in the best interest of the party that I am representing. If my buyer is presenting a somewhat low offer I might suggest that they pay title and control the closing. If my buyer presents a good offer that is less than full price I generally request the seller pay title if the comps support the offer. If there are multiple offers and it's a great deal I might recommend my buyer pay at least full price and also pay for title/closing. Negotiable itmes are just another tool to accomplish your objective. I use similar somewhat inverse strategies when I am representing the seller...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 11, 2012
In NY the buyer pays for the title insurance, especially since they are the party thta needs it.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 11, 2012
Short answer - whoever is designated to pay the policy on the contract. In other words, everything is negotiable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 10, 2012
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