Using seller's title company?

7 Replies

I'm buying a REO, Wells Fargo is seller, and they offer to pay for owners title policy if I use their chosen title company. This could be a decent $$ savings. Who has gone this route before and any opinions whether good or bad? And how will I know if I'll be getting a good title policy where any issues have been cleared versus just made into exceptions?

@Ryan K.   East coast I always want to pick my own closer or title co.

West coast it makes no difference.. one company represents both buyer and seller and the insurer is one of the national insurance companies just comes down to review the Pre lim.. as we call it.. or title commitment as its sometimes called out east

We've done this with Wells Fargo and also Bank of America.  Here's an emphatic warning; DO NOT USE THEIR TITLE COMPANY!

This for a host of reasons, the least of which is that what you pay for your 'portion' of the closing costs will actually be higher than if you use a local title company. 

The most important reason is that Banks will use some big conglomerate closing concern such as ServiceLink ore Altisource. As the process goes on it gets handed off from one department to the next. In the case of ServiceLink, they actually mailed the notarized closing docs to an abstracting company who was to deliver them to the recorder of deeds. These folks were three hundred miles away and only made the trip once a week. When the recorder denied the documents because they were missing a power of attorney page, we went into a black hole of information that took me a month of phone calls to unravel, and I do mean ME and not THEM. We had a flipped property with buyers ready but couldn't sell or legally sign a contract for that matter because we didn't hold title, 2 months after they had our funds. 

Lesson learned. All our closings since have been with a local title company, who we will then turn around and use when we resell. Everything is streamlines, and I costs us about two third of what the ServiceLink disaster cost us. Duh.

We purchase out of state, and I can tell you calling a local title company and striking up a relationship with them is easy, cost effective and a great way to protect your interests. Please take heed and don't learn the hard way like we did. 

(In case you're wondering with the help of the county recorder and, eventually a supervisor at ServiceLink who had to 'break rules' to help me, We got the property recorded and resold, and three months after that, ServiceLink actually mailed us the deed) 

IMO,  ALWAYS work with local agents, inspectors, title co.

They have more at stake and need your satisfaction.  Big Banks are a law unto themselves :thumbs down:

@Ryan K. How competitive is your market, and how competitive will it be to get this property? If choosing to go with their title company makes your offer more competitive, by all means do that.  If it is not a competitive situation, then choose the title company you are most comfortable with.

The way I choose a title company, and I am often de facto choosing them for my clients since they dont know anything about title companies....I am either choosing the company that A) I have a working relationship with, B) The one located in the same building as my office, or C) using the company that issued the last policy on the property.  The fees probably dont vary as much as you would think...while one may charge more for X fee, Y fee is cheaper.  The title company I use for my personally owned policies is actually a little expensive, I just happen to like the guys that work there, so its a relationship thing in that instance.