The subject of Home Owner’s Title Insurance always comes up in purchase transactions in which I am involved. For my more sophisticated clients, it is generally a “no-brainer”. The client spends a little extra money and then has piece of mind respecting his or her title which will last throughout ownership of the home. Even if the person performing the title search missed a probate, or didn’t see an undischarged private mortgage, HOTI will cover it. More importantly, even if there is a forgery in the chain of title or the Registry has lost, or misfiled, an important document, the company providing the HOTI will stand behind the title. This assurance provides a lot of comfort for an investment that far outshadows all others for the average purchaser,
Having said all this, and truly believing that HOMI is the right way to go, I am continually shocked when realtors at a purchase closing are neutral,or even negative,about their customer’s purchasing HOTI. Perhpas, they are “grandstanding”, trying to show how they are helping the purchaser to husband each and every of their hard-earned dollars for more important things. Perhaps, they are ignorant of the true benefits of HOTI to the realtors, especially the Buyer’s agent who may be involved in the sale of the property being purchased somewhere down the road.
There follow several reasons why this writer, a person who has conducted thousands of real estate purchases over more than 40 years of practice in Massachusetts, believes that realtors should provide whole-hearted endorsement for the purchase of HOI, not only for their customer’s benefit, but for their own, as well:
1. If there is a title claim, it is more than likely that everyone involved int he purchase trsnaction, including the realtor, will be named in the litigation. This will mean that time, effort and money will need to be expended by ALL particilants to exculpate themselves.
2. If there is a title claim, no matter what the outcome, all people involved will be “tainted” with being involved in a transaction that didn’t turn out quite right. If there is HOTI, the title insurance company will absorb the costs from dollar one. It is unlikely that anyone, other than the person, or entity, certifying the title, will be involved in any of the proceedings. If anything, the realtor who endorsed the purchase of HOTI will seem like a hero for making such a practical, and ultimately beeficial, suggestion.
3. Many times, your purchaser will be a seller some day. If the transaction went well, you will get the listing. Won’t you feel that much better knowing that while selling the property my have its owns set of obstacles, obtaining clear title will not be one of them if HOTI was obtained when the property was purchased.
So the next time you hesitate, or even balk, when the subject of Home Owner’s Title Insurance comes up, think again. The deal you save may be your own!!!!