Deal contigent on using "MY" title (escrow) company

12 Replies

Recently, I have made several offers and I have had sellers electing to walk away from the deal, if I would not agree to use "their" title company.

Obviously,  I am missing something here; but, what is clear to me, 'one who controls the keys, controls the castle'. Although, I am not sure how the deal become advantageous for them when using "their" title company versus accepting "my" title company.

Thank you in advance for shedding a little light on this topic.

While we all prefer to use people we know and trust, it really makes no difference...the title co. does their work as per industry standards...unless of course you're trying to do some funky double close/assignment you're trying to keep from the seller. Except for REO title co.s, and their "exceptions", it's not really a deal killer.

@Davon Lowery

I have had people that were adamant about using their title company.. so I used them. As long as they can do an assignment I don't mind who we use even though I have one I prefer to use. I assume you can answer your question by stating why you are determined to use your own title company. It is probably the same answer for them.

Thanks Wayne, good to know and great to know when to deploy our antennae for potential suspicious.

@Wayne Brooks

@Davon Lowery

I learned in Tallahassee, Florida that it is a buyers choice on which title company to use. Based on that, it means cost. I found title companies in Tallahassee to be less expensive for the same work than what I paid here in Gainesville. So, if I shopped around I could see who was charging what for the title work and choose a company based on cost. In Gainesville, I have no choice (at least I don't think I do) because the seller is who chooses the title company. I've talked to my agent about this and others and it seems that it depends on the area.

@Davon Lowery

I always negotiate to use my preferred title company for one reason and one reason only...documents. Title companies will have different waivers, disclosures, affidavits, etc with every different wording in these documents...all of which should be thoroughly reviewed and changes requested.  Many title companies don't like to make revisions, deletions or additions to the language in their documents, however, my preferred company was very agreeable to all my requests for same.  

If I'm looking for drinking buddies, I'll go to a bar.  When I'm looking for good closing documents, I will go to a title company that will provide exactly what I need.

@Guy Gimenez - I love your points.  I'm interested in the types of things/changes one might make to revise/delete/add in title documents.  This is an area I've never considered much before (other than just going thru the motions).  Your thoughts?

@Stephanie Windemuth

I'm not sure I can be of much help since I've never transacted anything in your state. I should have been more clear in my post that my comments relate to Texas title companies. In Texas, I simply try to get any many Sch. B items removed from the title commitment as possible and deletion of all Sch. C items unless I'm buying the property subject to the existing mortgage.  

@Guy Gimenez
That is a fantastic help!  Gives me a starting place from which to go do my homework/investigation.  Thank you!

I actually think its a little more nuanced.  I work with a number of different title companies, and will pick ones based on specific problems that a property may run into. Ground rent recording problems I might use title company X, building code or set back problems, and I might use title company Y.

I never ever use the cheapest title companies though. They are the cheapest for a reason.  Ive seen many people think they are saving a few bucks and then they cant insure the title properly on a back end sale because of mistakes that were made by the title company on the front end purchase. Just this year I was part of a transaction that took us months to close because the previous 3 sales, 2 of which were foreclosures, were not done properly...and all 3 transactions were handled by the same chop shop title company.

Just make sure that the escrow/title company is a disinterested, neutral third party and has NO connection to the buyer or seller.

Sellers may want to use that specific title company because they have lower fees or because they have a relationship with them and know the process will go faster. From what I know and have experienced it is the buyer's choice of title company.

You may be interested in this link from the NAR website (National Association of Realtors):

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