Elsewhere I will discuss more about what is a title company, title insurance, and other title related issues. But here, I just wanted to discuss how to choose a title company and who chooses – the buyer or the seller?
The title insurance is chosen by whomever is paying for it (identified in Paragraph 6 of the 1-4 Family Resale Contract). In our market, the buyer often asks the seller to pay for the owner’s title policy, and therefore it is often technically the seller’s choice. But realistically, the seller will often just go with whomever the buyer asks for in the initial offer. The only common reason I see for a seller to be particular about a title company is if the home previously fell out of contract and a title company had recently already done all the legwork.
The buyer can still choose where to close, even if a different title company from the one providing the insurance, though there would likely be an additional fee to do so. Essentiallly one title company is then the title insurer, and the other title company is the escrow agent and closer. I have personally never had this happen, and title companies in our area are of a high enough quality that I can’t imagine recommending to my buyer to go out of pocket or complicate the process by electing this option. But it is an option!
Choosing a company.
Title company fees are fixed by the State of Texas, so there is no cost difference to either the buyer or seller for one title company over another. Unable to differentiate themselves on pricing, title companies’ only competitive advantage is their service.
What title companies and insurers do is one of the most arcane parts of real estate, and therefore buyers and sellers seldom have a preference unless they’ve used a particular company previously, or perhaps worked for or know someone who worked for a company. 99% of the time, the buyer or seller will simply go with whomever their agent recommends. Agent’s usually will have a particular company they’ve worked with the most and are therefore most comfortable and familiar with what to expect from that title company.
And frankly, your agent is the best resource for choosing a title company. They will know which title agents will communicate well, treat clients well in the closing room, and stay late on a Friday to get closed and funded before the weekend.
I generally recommend Netco Title to my buyers and sellers in the Fort Hood area, however have had good experiences with many title companies in our area, a few of which are listed below.
Netco Title Company
902 Mountain Lion Cir #300
Harker Heights, TX 76548
First Community Title
661 W Central Texas Expy
Harker Heights, TX 76548
3201 E. Stan Schlueter Loop
Killeen, Texas 76542
American Abstract and Title
2501 E Elms Rd. # B
Killeen, TX 76542
Coryell County Land and Abstract
504 Turner St.
Copperas Cove, TX 76522