Frequently Asked Questions

Servings All of Florida!

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions You Have &  Many You May Not Know You Have!

At Sarasota Title Services, we understand that real estate purchases and all the steps involved can be confusing, complicated and stressful. It is our goal is to help you understand the entire process & make your experience as smooth as possible.  If you have a question that is not answered here in our FAQ section, please don’t hesitate to ASK US!

Do I need an attorney when buying or selling real estate?

Unlike other states, it is not required that an attorney conduct your closing.  It’s rare that issues arise requiring an attorney.  But, when they do, typically, you are then referred to another attorney as it may be considered a conflict of interest for the title attorney to represent you in negotiation or litigation.  If you are more comfortable working with an attorney we certainly encourage you to do so.  Keep in mind, you may incur additional expenses when hiring an attorney but your peace of mind may be worth the price.

I heard I might be entitled to a “re-issue credit”. What does that mean?

Florida Department of Insurance allows for reissue credits under certain circumstances.  For example, when a prior policy can be found, reissue credits are given on refinance transactions; and a reissue credit is given on sales/purchase transactions when the seller purchased an owners title insurance policy within the last 3 years and there has been on change in ownership.  It is our policy to ask for a copy of the Owner’s Title Insurance Policy on every transaction to determine whether or not we can issue the credit.  The credit can be several hundreds of dollars so we make every effort to obtain a copy of your policy if you can’t find it.

Can you take a personal check?

Florida law allows us to accept a personal check up to $500.00.  Anything over $500.00 must be presented in the form of a cashier’s check, certified check, official bank check or preferably wired to our account.  We do not charge a fee for incoming wires so please ask for wiring instructions.  We do charge a $35 processing fee for cashier’s checks, certified checks and official bank checks, which must be presented 7 business days prior to closing.

Can you do a 1031 closing?

Yes, we are experienced in the nuances of 1031 exchanges and are happy to assist in the process.

Are title companies qualified to handle real estate closing?

Yes.  State licensing and continuing education is required for a title company to be and remain in business.  A bond must be posted with the State and other insurance requirements are mandatory.  The sole purpose of a title insurance company is to close real estate transactions and issue title insurance for insurable transactions.  Title companies are VERY experienced with the process; this is their specialty

Who pays for the title insurance?

For a sale and purchase transaction that would be spelled out in the contract.  For a refinance transaction it is typically the borrower who pays for the lender’s title insurance policy.

Must I attend the closing?

It is advisable but not necessary.  Many of our clients are out-of-towners so we often use encrypted emails or overnight couriers.  Encrypted email can be used on a case-by-case basis, however there is a higher potential for fraud so we may discourage emailing to sellers in certain cases.  We also can accept a Power of Attorney, if it meets Florida Statue requirements.  When a mortgage is involved the POA must be approved by the lender.  However, we prefer to have our clients sign their own documents when possible.

How do I apply for homestead exemption and when must it be done?

Initial application should be made in person at the property appraiser’s office.  Every person who has legal or equitable title to real property in the State of Florida, and who resides on the property as of January 1, and in good faith makes it his or her permanent home, is eligible for a homestead exemption.  Generally, initial application for property tax exemption must be made between January 1 and March 1 of the year for which the exemption is sought.

At Sarasota Title Services Inc, we know that buying real estate can be stressful. Closing costs can quickly become overwhelming. The above Frequently Asked Questions should help you learn more about our services.

Sarasota Title Services