Title Policies - What You Need to Know
Title Policies aren't the most exciting topic but if you purchase real estate in Arizona and many other states, you'll likely receive one on the property you are buying and may have to purchase one if you are borrowing funds to purchase the home.
The title commitment is the document a title company will create as a promise to the buyer that they are buying a home that is free and clear of any and all liens or defects on the property.
There are three (3) basic parts of a title commitment:
Part 1: Schedule A
This section contains basic information about the property, the effective date of the policy, the type of policy to be issued, the current owner(s) and the legal description of the property.
Part 2: Schedule B1
This is a really important section, as it shows the requirements or conditions that need to be met in order to release the property. These can be liens, such as property taxes that need to be paid, the remaining balance of the original mortgage, a previous deed of trust that might need to be released, any mechanical liens for work that was completed by not paid in full, recording of the transfer deed and recording documents to secure the new loan.
The escrow officer will go through all items that appear in this list and will contact each lienholder for a release of the lien. Some items such as property taxes, HOA fees, outstanding mortgage are considered “To Come Items” meaning they will be paid off at the time of the sale thus releasing the liens stated in this section.
** If you have a common last name there may be items in this section that do not belong to you, so it’s very important that you review the title commitment when it is sent to you, upon opening escrow.
Part 3 : B-11 (exceptions section)
This section outlines the exceptions and items excluded from coverage by the title policy such as utility easements or right of ways.
I always recommend that you review all of the information, but you might want to drink a cup of coffee first so you can stay awake :) Again, it's not super fun or exciting to read but you should know about the coverage as well as any liens that may exist against the home as you don't want anything to hold up your purchase or sale.