Frequently Asked Questions
You've Asked, We've Answered
Whether you are buying, selling, or refinancing a property, you will likely have many questions. We’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions and have done our best to address them individually. If you have questions that extend beyond the list below, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Do I need a survey?
Unless required by your lender, surveys are completed at your discretion and expense. Surveys are helpful in identifying property lines, the location of possible easements and right of ways.
How long does the closing process take?
Closing, often referred to as settlement, is the process by which the ownership of a property is transferred from one party to another. There is set timeframe for completing a closing as its contingent upon various factors. A refinance or cash closing typically requires the least amount of leg work and can close very quickly. A transaction involving a loan may require more time – we recommend asking your lender what their timeframe is. You can generally expect a minimum of 30 days following ratification of the contract.
Can I choose my settlement agent, even if my lender/REALTOR has a preferred list?
Yes, as the buyer/borrower, you always have the right to select your settlement agent. It is critical that you choose a reputable company who’s experienced in real estate settlement services to avoid any errors or delays. If you are interested in working with us, please visit our “Contact Us” page to get started.
When will I receive my money?
Following settlement, Covenant will arrange to have the title updated and the necessary documents recorded in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office of the appropriate jurisdiction. Once recorded, we will disburse funds accordingly. For a purchase transaction, this typically occurs by the end of the following business day. For a residential refinance, there is a mandatory three day rescission period following settlement, during which time you may opt to cancel the transaction. Once the rescission period has expired, we will follow the standard recording and disbursement procedures.
Can you write my contract for me if I want to buy or sell a property without a REALTOR?
No, we cannot provide legal advice or serve in any capacity as an attorney. However, we have many strategic partnerships in place to provide our clients with all real estate related services. We are happy to make a referral to an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters.
Can I bring a personal check to closing?
No, we cannot accept a personal check. The funds must be delivered in the form of a cashier’s check or via bank wire into our escrow account.
Title Insurance Questions
Why do I need an Owners Title Insurance Policy?
If you’re obtaining a loan, your lender will require you to purchase a title insurance policy to protect their investment in the property. To assure you have similar coverage if discrepancies in title arise, we strongly recommend you purchase an Owner’s Title Policy. Unlike standard insurance that protects you against future damages, title insurance protects you from any defects in the chain of title created in the past.
What is title insurance?
Owner’s title insurance protects your right to your home. In the event your ownership interest is ever challenged, title insurance will defend your possession of the property for as long as you and your heirs own the property.
What are some of those risks?
There are two main categories of risks in real estate transactions. 1. Hidden hazards- risks that can’t be detected in title examinations and 2. Human errors
What are some examples of hidden hazards?
Forgery, incompetency of grantor or mortgager, unknown heirs, fraud, impersonation, etc.
How is title insurance different from other types of insurance?
Unlike standard insurance that protects you against future damages, title insurance protects you from any defects in the chain of title created in the past.
How do you figure the annual premium?
There are no annual premiums. One premium, based on the amount of the sale or the mortgage, is paid when the policy is issued and it remains effective for the life of the policy.
What do you mean by life of the policy?
A mortgagee policy remains in effect until the loan has been paid off. An owner’s policy never expires. Even if you sell your property, the owner’s policy continues to protect you and your heirs against any claims.
If I have an attorney examine the title, can’t he or she assure me that my title is good?
Even the most diligent search of public records cannot guarantee that a discrepancy in title will not arise. For example, an attorney cannot assure that the marital rights of all previous owners have been relinquished correctly, all mortgagees, judgments, etc. affecting the property have been indexed correctly, all signatures on the recorded documents are genuine, and that there is no unknown heir of a former owner who can appear to assert a claim. These are just a few matters that can challenge real estate title. Among others are fraud, duress, infancy, insanity, false personations, etc.
How does title insurance help protect my home investment?
Title insurance places the assets of a corporation behind the title to your home. If challenged, the title will be defended without cost to you. Should the title, or any part of it, be other than as insured, you will be reimbursed up to the face amount of your policy for any financial loss incurred.