What do I need to bring to closing?

Identification:  Anyone who will be signing documents must bring a government-issued photo identification that includes a signature (driver’s license, passport, military ID, etc.), so that we can make a copy of it.  This is necessary for notary and identification purposes, and is required by our underwriter.

Funding:  Funds needed for closing must be in the form of a Cashier’s Check payable to Sunset Title & Escrow, Inc., or they may be wired.  Please call our office for wiring instructions if needed.  We cannot accept cash or personal checks for closing funds.

What about my current mortgage on the home I am selling?

We must be provided with the names, phone numbers, and account numbers for any lien to be paid off at closing.  It is important that we receive this information as early as possible, as it can take up to ten days to obtain payoffs from some lenders.

What if I can’t attend the closing? 

If any party to the transaction is unable to attend the closing, we must be notified as early as possible so that a Specific Power of Attorney can be prepared and executed.  If a Power of Attorney is already in existence, we must be provided with a copy as early as possible so that it may be reviewed and approved for use in the specific transaction.  The Power of Attorney must be recorded in the county in which the property is located.  If it has not been recorded prior to closing, the original will need to be brought to closing for us to record.  Once recorded, the original will be returned to you.

What if the property is owned or to be owned by an entity rather than an individual? 

If the buyer or seller is a business entity, we will need a copy of the entity documents (Corporate Charter, LLC Articles of Organization, Operating Agreement, etc.), and a resolution authorizing the transaction and designating the representative who will sign closing documents on behalf of the entity.  If the property is being transferred to or from a trust, we will need a copy of the Trust Agreement designating the name of the trust, the Trustees, and their powers.

What is title insurance and why do I need it?

There are two types of title insurance: Lender’s Coverage and Owner’s Coverage

Lender’s Coverage is usually required by the mortgage lender.  It protects only the lender in the event of a defect in the title of the property.  The lender policy is effective for as long as the loan is outstanding.

Owner’s Coverage provides the buyer with insurance against loss due to defects in the title not specifically excluded in the policy.  The owner policy is effective for as long as you or your heirs have any interest in the property, and even after the property is sold.  Owner’s coverage provides you with a legal defense and, if your title should fail, reimbursement of the equity in your property up to the face amount of the policy.  It also covers attorney’s fees charged to defend the title to the property.

Unlike other types of insurance, title insurance has a one-time-only premium.  Premiums for owner’s coverage are based on sales price or value of the property.  Premiums for lender’s coverage are based on loan amount.  A discounted rate is available when owner’s coverage is purchased at the same time as the loan coverage.  Additionally, a discounted rate may be available if we are provided with a copy of a prior policy on the same property.

Following are just a few examples of issues that are covered by title insurance:  forgery; fraud; undisclosed or missing heirs; improperly probated wills; inadequate surveys; clerical errors in recording; indexing errors in the recording office; confusion due to similar names; claims not shown in the public record.  There are many more, but these are some of the more commonly encountered issues.

Where can I find more information?

Check out Home Closing 101 for more information and explanations about the closing process and title insurance.