Next in our monthly series “From the Experts,” is Title and Settlement Agencies. During your home purchase or sale you’ll come into contact with many experts in the real estate field. To help you feel more confident at selecting your home partners I wanted to give you a chance to hear directly from them.
Next on our list of experts is Sallie St. Peter with Aurora Title. The Settlement Agent, also known as the Closing Coordinator, is who you select as the buyer to help you through title search, deed preparation, and the signing and filing of your deed. This can be done by a title and settlement company, like Aurora Title, or a closing attorney. Sallie St. Peter has been a Title Underwriter for more than a decade. After years of experience working in title underwriting Sallie opened Aurora Title with her partners Holly McFeely and Dawn Crews.
1. What is your primary role in a home purchase?
As a title and settlement agent, our role is to work with all parties in communicating pertinent information about the sale or purchase, collecting and verifying all fees, costs, monies being transferred, and to collect and disburse all funds for the transaction. We also research the title to the property, work to clear any found title issues, and ultimately issue owners and lenders title insurance policies.
2. Why is your service/role necessary?
Settlement agents are required in a real estate closing to verify and oversee that all funds are collected and disbursed correctly. We are also pertinent in relaying information between all parties- realtors, buyers, sellers, lenders, and service providers.
3. Is your service paid for upfront or is it covered in my closing costs?
Our services, for both settlement and title fees, are collected at settlement as a part of your closing costs.
4. Is your service a recurring fee every year once I purchase a home?
No. Both title and settlement services are a one time fee, collected at closing. Title insurance will stay in place and effective for as long as you own the home, at no additional cost.
5. What should I know about your particular industry?
In Virginia, buyers and sellers can choose to work with a title company OR a real estate attorney for settlement. Both will provide the same standards and services for a real estate closing. Both are required to be licensed and are highly regulated by licensing bureaus and state/federal regulations.
6. If I were to compare you to another service provider, what would you say your standout qualities are?
Aurora Title prides itself on having a personal touch with every transaction we handle. Whether our buyers and sellers are working on their first purchase or sale, or their 10th, we take the time to talk, explain and inform every step of the way. We also offer mobile notary services for those who may not be local or able to travel to our office, making the actual closing process convenient for all of our clients.
7. If I choose to work with you would I be working directly with you or someone else in your company?
At Aurora Title, we have several settlement agents. As soon as a file is started in the office, it will be assigned to one settlement agent. This agent will be your point of contact from start to finish, meaning you are never shuffled around to multiple people within the office. We find this helps keep information clear and clients secure in forming a trusting relationship.
Thanks for sharing that info, Sallie! If you have more questions about title and settlement you can reach out to Sallie St. Peter with Aurora Title at 804.729.9005 or https://www.auroratitleva.com/.