Frequently Asked Questions
You've Asked, We've Answered
How long does the closing process take?
Closing (also referred to as “settlement”) is the process by which ownership of a property is transferred from one party to another. There is no set timeframe for completing a closing as it is contingent on a variety of factors. A refinance or cash closing typically requires the least amount of leg work and can close relatively quickly. However, a transaction involving a loan may take more time – we recommend asking your lender what their timeframe is. You can generally expect a minimum of 30 days after you send us a copy of the signed contract. The more information you give us up front, the better!
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 that is 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.
Can I bring a personal check to closing?
No! Funds must be delivered either in the form of a cashier’s check made payable to Covenant Real Estate Services or via bank wire into our escrow account. Please contact the escrow officer working on your case to obtain wire instructions.
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 the documents are on record, 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 record the documents and disburse funds.
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, possible easements, right of ways, etc. but are not required for the issuance of a title policy. If you choose to get a survey, please send it to us as soon as possible, so we can refer to it in your title insurance policy.
Can you draft a contract for me?
No! Even though Roger and Kim are licensed attorneys, Covenant is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice or serve in any capacity as your 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 experienced attorney if a legal issue arises.
What is title insurance and why do I need it?
Title insurance protects purchasers of real estate and mortgages against loss from defective title, liens, and encumbrances. Even the most diligent search of public records cannot guarantee that a discrepancy in title will not arise. An attorney or title examiner cannot assure that all mortgages, judgments, etc. affecting the property have been indexed correctly, all the signatures on the recorded documents are genuine, or that there is no unknown heir of a former owner who may appear and assert a claim. These are just a few examples of challenges to real estate title. Among other are fraud, duress, infancy, insanity, impersonations, etc. Without a title insurance policy, you have no protection against these types of claims.
What is the "life of the policy"?
The “life of the policy” refers to how long the insurance coverage lasts. An owner’s policy remains in effect for as long as you or your heirs own the property. A lender’s policy remains in effect for the term of the loan, but the amount of coverage decreases over time as the loan is paid off.
How do you calculate my title insurance premium?
Title insurance is a paid by a one time premium payment at closing. The premium is based on the sale price or the mortgage amount. See the National Rate Calculator for more information.