Many real estate agents simply get the title research documents and hand them over to the potential home buyer, without even a once-over. These documents can sometimes fill a whole binder, and although there are not always issues with the property you never know and it is important to go through and understand this information. And that is exactly what I will do!
There are also restrictions and covenants revealed in your Title Binder or Commitment package that you might not have been aware of when you first made the offer. Though you may have read disclosure documents or even a copy of subdivision or condominium covenants, there could have been changes since it was printed. The only way to be sure is to read your title insurance binder’s copy of the documents which will include the latest documents that were recorded at the courthouse. You may also find some recent filings related to obligations of the homeowner association that could potentially result in future expensive assessments. Any covenants and restrictions you notice in these documents that may restrict your use of the property in a way that causes you to reconsider your purchase are important, and you want to make sure you don't miss them. Let’s say that you have a recreational vehicle and intend to park it on your property. Maybe you even plan on creating a shed for it. Any restrictions to the contrary would be important to you, and I will help you uncover every important item in your title insurance documents.
Along with all of these documents are two sections at the front of the title insurance binder (or commitment) that summarize what’s included and can provide you with a quick overview that will guide you to the most important items first, or any items of highest concern. These two sections are the “Requirements,” and the “Exceptions.” Requirements are anythign the title company says must be done or criteria that must be met before their binder is good and title insurance will be issued. Generally, these are pretty cut-and-dried, such as the seller paying off any mortgages or liens against the property, paying current taxes due, etc.
The “Exceptions” are where you’ll find items that might raise concern for you like the problems mentioned above. However, some people aren’t quite up-to-speed on what an exception is and what it means that an item is excepted. Most of the benefit of title insurance comes from protection from threats to your ownership or things that come up about property lines or encroachments. When something is already recorded at the courthouse, the title company will not cover you against it in the future, as it’s a “done deal,” and normally can’t be changed. Those restrictions and covenants are that way. If they say you can’t store that RV, then you can’t claim damages later when you try to do that. So, anything that’s already of record will be “excepted,” and you just need to be sure that there isn’t anything in that pile you can’t live with.
You’re the customer, and your money is making this deal work, so don’t be shy about asking any and all questions you have about the documents, requirements and exceptions in the title binder. There are deadlines for objections to what you find that could result in the deal dying, so don’t hesitate to get right to the examination of this document and the attachments.