Real estate investing can be a rewarding business if you make the right choice in hiring a title escrow company. The right escrow officer can mean the difference between a smooth and rapid closing or a complicated, delayed closing, quite possibly filled with costly mistakes.
You cannot be too careful when selecting a title escrow company. As a real estate investor your needs are quite a bit different than the average home buyer and the escrow title company you choose should be able to accommodate any and all of these.
When communicating with the title escrow company it is prudent to ask for their most experienced escrow officer, especially one who has worked with real estate investors. Ask if they have worked on any real estate deals involving creative workarounds. Ask for referrals from previous real estate investors they have worked with. Insist that this person be the only one to handle your work.
Remember that you will be working closely with this individual during the whole process and they become like a personal secretary whose job it is to comply with your instructions.
Here are a few questions to ask a potential title escrow company or officer:
1. How long have you been an escrow officer?
2. How long were you an assistant before you became an escrow officer?
3. Do you have an assistant? Are they familiar with the files?
4. Are you comfortable closing “creative” real estate deals.
5. Can you do “subject to” closings, simultaneous closings, etc
6. What are your hours of operation? If needed can and will you stay late?
7. If needed can you meet a client for a signing away from your office?
8. What methods and frequency do you use to communicate the status of your files and to whom?
9. What recording times are scheduled for your company?
10. How do you handle escrow collection accounts?
11. Will you insure an all inclusive deed of trust?
12. Do you have a notary available?
13. What are your escrow fees?
14. What are your funding options?
15. What is the method and turn around time for property profiles?
16. Do you have an after hours service for title information?
17. What do you expect from me?
These are but a few questions to get started with. Build your own checklist of questions as you go.
Once you have completed your search process choose the escrow agent that you would feel most comfortable working with. Your choice of escrow agent may be one of the most important decisions you make as a real estate investor.
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