What is Title?

It is the ownership of a piece of property, meaning the right to exclude others, occupy and possess it, and sell it.

What is Title Insurance?

It is a contract purchased by an owner, called an owner's policy, to guarantee good title; a contract purchased by a mortgage lender is called a mortgagee policy, and guarantees the mortgage is a lien on the property. The policy pays for costs to remove clouds and defects caused by forgery, fraud, lawsuits, unrecorded easements, and missing heirs.

What is a Lien?

It is a right to sell a piece of property to pay a debt if the debt is unpaid or in default. Normally, the debt is from a mortgage, construction work, a judgment, or an IRS lien. A lien has priority to the property based on when it is recorded at the courthouse. If there is more than one lien, the one recorded first is a first lien and the next one recorded is a second lien, etc. A mortgage title policy normally insures that the mortgage is a first lien on a property and therefore entitled to sell the property to pay its mortgage, if unpaid, before any other lien holders can sell the property.

Why do we need a title policy when we refinance our house if we just got one last year when we bought the house?

You need an owner's title policy to guarantee that no new liens have been recorded against the house in the past year (for IRS, judgments, home improvements, second mortgages). You need a new mortgage policy because the new mortgage lender wants to be named as the first lien holder and to have the old mortgagee removed from the title.

What is a Closing?

In a sale of real estate, it is the event when the seller signs a deed of the property and delivers the deed and keys to the buyer in return for the money agreed in the purchase price. Normally, the buyer also signs a mortgage (and note) to a lender to obtain part of the purchase price. A closing for a refinance is where the property owner signs a new mortgage (and note) to a lender to pay off and satisfy the previous mortgage. A "settlement" is a synonym for the word "closing" and is the preferred term in some parts of the United States.

If I am a buyer, should I bring cash, check, or a cashier's check to my closing, or should I wire money? Who do I wire the money to or make the check payable to?

You should bring a cashier's check payable to the closing agent (normally the title company) in the amount of the "Cash to Close" figure furnished to you by your representative and processor at the title company. A bank wire to the title company is also acceptable and requires you to have the "Wire Instructions" from the title company. Personal checks, except for nominal amounts (under $200.00), are unacceptable at closing because the title company must pay out immediate funds to clear all mortgages and liens off the property, and must pay all broker and recording costs. Personal checks take several days before they become clear funds.



We can be reached Monday - Friday at 305-447-1107,

or 24 hours a day by email.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance protects the insured from a financial loss related to the ownership of a property. There are two policies in the mix at a home loan closing: the lender’s policy, which is required, and an optional owner’s policy. Both are a one-time, upfront cost — not a monthly premium that will be added to your mortgage payment.

What is covered?

Generally, a person thinks of insurance in terms of the payment of future loss due to the occurrence of a future event. For instance, a person obtains car insurance in order to pay for future loss caused by a future "fender bender" or for the future theft of the car. Title insurance is a unique form of insurance. It provides coverage for future claims or future losses due to title defects which are created by a past event (i.e., event prior to the acquisition of the property.) These risks are far less obvious than those protected against by automobile insurance, but can be just as devastating. The following information will answer some commonly asked questions about title insurance.

Our Search

In order to determine the status of title, Titles Unlimited conducts a diligent search of the public records for those documents associated with the property. Titles Unlimited then examines those recorded documents in order to determine if there are any rights or claims that may have an impact upon the title to the property. The title search may reveal the existence of recorded defects, liens or encumbrances upon the title such as unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments and tax liens against the current or past owners, easements, restrictions and court actions. Matters that are discovered in the search can be excepted, resolved or extinguished prior to the closing of the transaction. In addition, you are protected against any loss or damage resulting from recorded defects, liens or encumbrances that are within the scope of coverage of the particular policy issued in the transaction.

Hidden Risks

The title to the property that you have purchased could be seriously threatened or lost completely by hazards which are considered "hidden risks." "Hidden Risks" are those matters, rights or claims that are not shown by the public records and, therefore, are not discoverable by a search and examination of those public records. Matters such as forgery, incompetency or incapacity of the parties, fraudulent impersonation, and unknown errors in the records are examples of "hidden risks" which could provide a basis for a claim after you have purchased the property. The policies issued by Fidelity National Title protect you against many of these “hidden risks.”


What will the title company need from me?

We as a Title company will do everything to ensure that your property is free of any defects or liens by conducting an extensive title and lien search. As a Seller you will be given the choice to have an attorney represent you during your transaction, however it is not required. We will request your information to order any mortgage payoffs and clear up any title defects. We may also request to see your Previous Owner's Policy, this may help clear any title defects. 

What fee(s) am i responsible for?

The Seller must pay off any open mortgage(s) they have on the property, as well as any judgments or liens that attach to the property. You will also be responsible for commissions paid to the realtors, unless otherwise noted in the contract. A state required seller expense is the Deed Transfer Stamp Tax, this can be calculated by multiplying the Sales Price x .0070; except in Miami-Dade county which is 60 cents for every $100. For More information on this stamp click here

It is important to note that every contract is unique. In some cases, you may be responsible for the title search and municipal lien search, this option is very common in Miami-Dade and Broward County. This can be discussed with your realtor and is typically found in Section 9 of an As Is Contract. 

What will I sign at closing?

On the day of the closing you will be signing a Warranty Deed, Bill of Sale, and any Required Affidavits. You will also need to provide instructions for sales proceeds to be given to you, most often this would be wire instructions from your bank. 

Community Links & Information

If you are new to the area,or you are buying or selling property , we have provided a few useful links to help you change your address, look-up property tax insurance, turn on/off your utilities, or search for a school in your area.

USPS - The United States Postal Service
Get shipping rates, buy stamps, print postage, track a package, look up a ZIP Code
» http://www.usps.com

Florida Department of Revenue
Information on property taxes, tax legislation and frequently asked questions.
» http://dor.myflorida.com/dor

Tax Estimator Worksheet
Provides an estimate of real property taxes based upon the information you enter.
» http://www.miamidade.gov/pa/tax_estimator/TaxEstimator.asp

Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles
Go Renew is a fast and easy way to do business with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. They offer many services in addition to renewals.
» https://express.hsmv.state.fl.us/Express_Lane

Florida Power & Light
Pay your bill, report a power outage, or start, stop or transfer service. Also lean how you can save money on your light bill.
» http://www.fpl.com

Get local and long distance phone service, Internet, WiFi, & DIRECTV service. Also pay your phone/internet bill - and start or stop service.
» http://www.attinternetplans.com/

Florida Department of Education
Information on Florida, Education, Schools, K12, K20, Community Colleges, and Universities.
» http://www.fldoe.org

Great Schools
Parents Guide to K-12 Schools. Elementary, middle and high school information for public, private and charter schools nationwide. Search and compare schools; view test scores and class size.
» http://www.greatschools.net