A: Per the First American Comprehensive Calculator at http://facc.firstam.com/ it says you are probably looking at around a $740 fee for owner's insurance ($370 is 50%), and $800 for the escrow fee ($400 is 50%).
If the total escrow fee on your transaction is $580 (instead of the $800) then it appears yours is a better deal... but if you are saying that $580 is half of the full escrow fee, which means the full escrow fee is $1,160 - then that does appear to be pretty high.
I have found First American Title's fees to be very competitive on both refinances & purchases, I have received some amazing customer service from them on numerous occasions (eating certain fees to make a deal work, staying late, etc.), but the service certainly varies depending on the office you work with.
Typically, in Alameda county, the buyer pays for both title and escrow fee's (however, everything is subject to negotiation in a contract).
To be honest, there are a lot of unanswered questions here:
1. Is this a short sale?
2. Is the price approved by the bank at $155,000 or is this just the beginning of the process?
3. Is this a pre-sale escrow and are the numbers based on a higher listing price?
4. Why are you, as the seller, paying 50% of the escrow fee?
5. If itâ€™s a short sale (and Iâ€™m pretty sure it is) and the seller paying the fees is typically going to be the lender, why are you paying as the seller?
6. Are you in the approval process with the lender and are they requiring you to contribute to the short sale?
Without knowing all the details, it is really hard to provide an accurate number.
The purchase agreement stipulates the name of a title and escrow company. So you're locked in if you already signed the agreement.
For future reference, if you're buying, selling or refinancing real estate in California, the California Land Title Association can help you find and compare title insurance policies, services and rates - free.
Use their free wizard tool at http://www.clta.titlewizard.com/default.aspx
All the best!
Fidelity National FInancial: http://www.fnf.com/fnf/
Old Republic http://www.oldrepublictitle.com/newnational/Index.asp
First American Title http://www.firstam.com/
I would definitely shop around and get the best rate! Good job on understanding that you don't just have to pay want they are requesting!
Congratulations on the sale of your property!