Is a Title Company the Same as a Closing Company in Florida?

Oct 26 2023

Florida has a robust real estate market, with a myriad of choices when it comes to closing, title, and escrow services. Title companies provide such services as running title searches, preparing title reports, and issuing title insurance policies that aim to ensure that the title of a property is clear and marketable.

While many people utilize the services of title companies when closing transactions, closing services are actually distinct. But does this mean you have to hire both a title company and a closing agent? Is it possible to find a Florida title company that also offers closing services? Continue reading to find out.

Title Services vs. Closing Services – Understanding the Difference

The typical title company in Florida offers a range of essential services. Generally, the work of a title agent begins by proceeding with a title search—a thorough search of the title’s history to identify the existence of title issues or clouds, such as:

  • Errors, omissions, and other issues in the public records
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Encumbrances
  • Competing claims
  • Unknown heirs

Additionally, a title company will often order a detailed property survey to ensure the home occupies the legal space outlined in the title search. Potential issues that may be uncovered by a survey include incorrect legal descriptions, lack of a right of way to the property, encroachments, and easement matters.

After identifying all existing issues, the title company provides a report to the buyer of the property and the lender (if applicable). Some problems may be solved by direct action (e.g., paying a lien for unpaid bills), while others may require a more strategic solution.

Once title issues are cleared, a title company can then issue a title insurance policy to protect buyers and lenders with respect to potential issues with the property’s title. Although the issuance of a title insurance policy occurs after the closing, it is only part of the process.

All parties involved in a real estate transaction should also have a closing expert guide them throughout the process. A closing agent helps the transaction reach the final step of “closing” – the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. Closing services include:

  • Double-checking all terms and clauses contained in the purchase and sale contract
  • Preparing and reviewing the conveyance documents
  • Ensuring full compliance with state and federal law
  • Paying off outstanding taxes and other debts attached to the property
  • Handling mortgage-related payoff matters
  • Signing and notarizing the required documents
  • Transferring the property’s title to the new owner

This process may be confusing and time-consuming for both buyers and sellers. Ultimately, the optimal approach is to hire an expert closing and title attorney to handle the process professionally.

Is a Title Company the Same as a Closing Company in Florida? – Legal Scope of Action

In Florida, a non-attorney operated title company is only permitted to prepare documents involved in the issuance of title policies. Since they cannot provide services outside their scope, this limits their ability to close real estate transactions and resolve title issues.

Does this mean you must hire both a title company and a closing company? Doing so may be costly—but fortunately, it is possible to get the best of both worlds by hiring an attorney-owned and operated title company. An experienced title and closing attorney can handle both title-related matters and real estate closings, including resolving lien and title issues.

Ensure a Successful Closing by Working with Marina Title

Owned and operated by experienced real estate attorneys in Florida, Marina Title is Florida’s premier title company. Marina Title offers a comprehensive suite of title, escrow, and closing services for properties throughout the State of Florida. Call us today at 1 (800) 604-1871 or email to learn more.

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