Tax Liens: Reasonable Priced Title Policies for Small Land Transactions?

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In Arizona and having trouble finding reasonably priced title/escrow services for smaller land transactions.  Prices from 6 companies have all been around $450-600 for escrow, $600-700 for title policy, on a $5,000 land transaction.  These are for tax liens where the owners have agreed to sign over the property for some cash, in lieu of going through full foreclosure.  What is everyone else doing for title services?  $250 Title search only, handle the deeds yourself, and no title insurance?  I did a few of these transactions back in 2009, and the prices then where only $130 for escrow and $268 for title.


Does Arizona allow attorney's to sell title insurance? Some attorney's in Texas form their own title company's. Can attorney do your escrow service for less?

My attorney can do the deed process and pass on a cashiers check provided by me upon signing.  I've never seen an attorney out here do title insurance.  The title companies out here seem to all underwrite through the same top 4 companies, which price for a 50K policy, even if the purchase price is only 5K.  Was wondering if anyone knew of any alternatives.  Right now the most cost effective route I've found is a $250 title search by a title company, and have my attorney handle the rest.

I've never had any title policy in the last 15 years under $300, nor any escrow under $300, so not sure what you bought in 2009. I'm pretty sure title fees are set by statute in CA.  If not, then there is definitely going to be a minimum.  Escrow has always had a minimum where I am.

It might be helpful to recognize that escrow services are essentially a marketing/adjunct service used to sell title policies.  IMO escrow service is almost a loss leader on low valued props.   I've had a couple of local companies in Santa Barbara turn down my Central Valley business when I'm buying the minimum policy ($450), and their overhead is $700+ per escrow.  They don't need escrow business.  They want to sell title a profit.

I can do my own title searches and prepare my own deeds (and have).  But I'll have to pay for escrow and title on the resale anyway, so I find it's better to bite the bullet on the buy.  That way the transaction gets done the way title wants it done and makes it easier on the sell.  You can buy a title binder if you are selling in the next few years, thereby saving paying for two full title policies..  

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