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Title FAQs

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is a type of insurance that protects the policyholder from financial loss or legal issues related to the ownership of a property. It ensures that the property's title is clear by indemnifying against any undiscovered or undisclosed ownership claims, liens, or encumbrances.

Why Do I Need Title Insurance?

Title insurance is a type of insurance that protects against financial loss or legal issues related to property ownership. It ensures a clear property title by indemnifying against undiscovered or undisclosed ownership claims, liens, or encumbrances.

What Does Title Insurance Cover?

Title insurance typically covers issues such as undiscovered liens, conflicting ownership claims, fraud, errors in public records, and other potential defects in the property's title. It provides financial protection and legal support to address these challenges.

What Utilities Does Title Insurance Cover?

Title insurance typically does not cover utilities like water, sewer, or electricity. It focuses on the property's ownership and legal aspects rather than utility services.

How Does Title Insurance Differ from Other Types of Insurance?

Title insurance is unique in that it provides coverage for potential risks associated with the property's history and legal ownership. Unlike other types of insurance that provide coverage for future events, title insurance primarily protects against past events or issues related to the property's title. It is a one-time premium paid at the time of purchase and remains in effect as long as the policyholder or their heirs have an interest in the property. If you refinance, you may be required to purchase a lender’s policy, but the owner’s policy from your original purchase remains effective.

What Is the Difference Between Owner's Title Insurance and Lender's Title Insurance?

Owner's title insurance, which is owned by the property’s owner, protects the property owner's interests, covering the owner's equity and investment in the property. Lender's title insurance, which is required by the lender, protects the lender's interest in the property and the loan amount. As the loan balance is paid down, the lender’s policy is also diminished – until the loan is completely satisfied and the lender’s policy is extinguished. The owner’s policy is never diminished and remains in place for the life of ownership and that of the owner’s heirs.

What Is the Difference Between Enhanced and Standard Coverage?

Enhanced coverage provides a higher level of assurance compared to standard coverage. Enhanced coverage often includes additional protections, such as coverage for boundary disputes and building permit violations. In addition, whereas standard coverage will only insure up to the value of your purchase price, enhanced coverage offers additional coverage (over time) to reflect the appreciation of your property.

How Much Does Title Insurance Cost? How Long Does Coverage Last?

The cost of title insurance varies based on the property’s value and the state in which the property is located. Licensed title insurance underwriters subscribe to a regulated set of prices, which means you should pay the same amount for title insurance from any licensed title insurers in that state. The premium is a one-time payment during the property purchase. Title insurance coverage lasts as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property.

How Much Do I Need to Bring to Closing?

The amount you need to bring to closing includes the down payment, closing costs, and any other fees. This amount is usually not known until shortly before closing and can typically be paid through a wire transfer or cashier’s check. Additionally, please bring valid forms of identification.

How Long Does Closing Take? What Should I Expect?

Closing usually takes about an hour. The process involves signing various documents, transferring funds, and ensuring all legal requirements are met for the property transfer.

When Will I Get Back My Recorded Deed?

The recorded deed is typically returned after it has been recorded with the county, which usually occurs shortly (several weeks) after the closing.

How Soon Do I Receive the Title Policy? What Should I Do with My Title Policy?

You typically should receive your title policy approximately six weeks after closing, once all necessary documentation is recorded. Keep it in a safe place, as it is an important legal document protecting your ownership rights.

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Deed FAQs


What Is the Cost of a Deed Transfer at LEGALTY?

If you have a copy of your recorded deed, the costs are based on the location of your property:

  • $800 – Philadelphia County
  • $700 – All remaining counties in Pennsylvania
  • $700 – New Jersey

If you don't have a copy of your recorded deed and one needs to be ordered, there is an additional $25.00 fee.

What Documents Are Required to Process a Deed Transfer?

The following documents are required to process a deed transfer:

  • Current recorded copy of deed
  • Marriage certificate (if a spouse is being added to the deed)
  • Death certificate (if a spouse wants to remove a deceased spouse from the deed)
  • LLC Docs – certificate of organization, EIN letter, operating agreement (if changing a deed from LLC to personal name, or vice versa)
Are There Any Taxes or Fees Associated with Deed Transfers?

What is the Cost of the Transfer Tax?

Transfer tax must be paid in most circumstances; however, there are exemptions.

  • Exemptions from transfer tax:
    • Spouse to spouse
    • Parent to child
    • Sibling to sibling
    • Grandparent to grandchild

Transfer tax varies by county and is based on the assessed value of the property, plus the common level ratio which we will calculate and provide to you. There are no additional fees.

Can I Transfer a Deed Without an Attorney?

The state of Pennsylvania does not require an attorney, but we strongly recommend it.

How Long Does a Deed Transfer Take to Complete?

Typically, it takes two weeks to complete the transfer and, depending on the municipality, it can take an additional two weeks to show up in the public record as recorded.

Newly Married, Jointy Owned, Existing Mortage

Can I Transfer a Deed If There Is an Existing Mortgage on the Property?

It depends, but typically you cannot transfer a deed with an existing mortgage because the names on the recorded deed and the recorded mortgage must match. The lender needs to approve an additional borrower before a deed can be transferred.

I Was Just Married and Have a Mortgage. I Want to Add My New Spouse to My Deed. What Do I Need to Do?

Congratulations! The first step to adding your new spouse to your deed is to add your spouse to your mortgage (if one exists). If the lender agrees to add your spouse, we need a copy of the new mortgage reflecting the names of both spouses. We also require a copy of the marriage certificate and of the current recorded deed. Once we have those documents, we can process the deed transfer.

Can I Transfer a Deed If the Property Is Jointly Owned?

Yes, if both parties agree to transfer the deed and there is no open mortgage on the property. Both parties will need to sign and notarize the deed.

I Own My Property in My Personal Name and Want to Transfer to My LLC. Do I Have to Pay Transfer Tax?

Yes, transferring to an LLC is 100% taxable.

Estate Deeds

Do You Handle Estate Matters?

We handle estate matters on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us to see if we can assist you.

My Relative Recently Passed and Left Me the House. What Do I Need to Do to Transfer the Deed?

There are two requirements that must be met before a deed can be transferred:

  • The deceased individual’s estate needs to be probated in the Register of Wills office and the local county courthouse.
  • Inheritance tax must be filed and paid prior to a deed being transferred.
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Legalty News & Blog

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