10 Most Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who decides which closing agent or attorney handles my closing?

It is your choice. In Palm Beach County, the seller of the property chooses the closing / title agent. You could save hundreds of dollars by making the correct choice.

2. What exactly does a closing agent do and why do I need one?

The closing agent performs several functions. The closing agent customarily orders a title search and performs a title examination on the property. Next, the closing agent will order a boundary survey, payoff statements for the existing mortgage, lien letters from the city, a paid tax receipt from the county property tax collector, and estoppel letters from the homeowners association. In the weeks prior to the closing date, the closing agent will set a time for closing, clear title and issue a title commitment. The day before closing, the buyer’s lender will send final loan instructions along with lender documents to be signed at closing by the buyer. The closing agent prepares the final settlement statement and conducts the closing.

3. What happens at closing?

At closing, the sellers, buyers, and brokers, are usually all present. There are many documents that must be signed – these include the deed, bill of sale, etc.. Funds are deposited into the closing agent’s escrow account for disbursement. Keys are typically exchanged at this time. Closing lasts about 1 hour.

4: As the seller, what state fees and costs should I expect to pay?

There are several cost related to the sale of property that are present at every closing. As the seller you will pay certain state fees. Florida Documentary Stamp Tax on the Deed is computed at .70 per $100 of the sale price of the property, rounded up to the nearest hundred. The buyer will be responsible for paying the documentary Stamp Tax and the Intangible Tax on the Mortgage. Recording fees are $6 for the first page, $4.50 for each additional page. The Seller pays to record the deed (usually a 1-2 page document) and the Buyer pays to record the Mortgage.

5. What other fees are present at closing?

In Palm Beach County, the seller will also be responsible for paying for the title insurance on the property. A seller will also be responsible for paying the commission to any real estate broker involved. Other fees that occur at closing may include: title search, title exam, document preparation, attorneys‘ fees, recording fees, courier/overnight fees, etc. These fees will vary among different closing agents. Some closing agents will charge a fee for closing, a fee to examine title, a fee to prepare documents, etc. These fees can often be confusing and can quickly add up. Palm Beach Title & Escrow Co. charges $145 for the title search and $295 for a Closing Fee. The $295 closing Fee includes the title examination, document preparation, notary, and closing.

6. What about Real Estate Taxes?

In Florida, annual property taxes are due in March of the following year. Discounts apply if property taxes are paid before the due date. Tax bills are mailed in November of each year. At closing, property taxes are prorated as of the closing date.

7. What is Title Insurance and how much should I expect to pay?

Title insurance insures the marketability of the title on the property and assures the buyer that he or she is receiving „good title.“ Title insurance is important since many title problems may not be discovered until many months or years after the closing. Examples of potential title problems include: clerical errors, forged deeds or other documentation, falsification of records, improper legal descriptions, improperly indexed liens on property, etc.. Title insurance protects the buyer and the buyer’s lender against such title defects.

Palm Beach Title & Escrow offers title insurance at the minimum rate allowable by law. Title insurance is computed at $5.75 per $1,000 of the purchase price up to $100,000. Over $100,000 add $5 per $1,000 of purchase price up to 1 million. For example, title insurance for a $150,000 property would be $825. For a $200,000 property, the cost would be $1,075. Palm Beach Title & Escrow Co.’s underwriter is Attorneys‘ Title Insurance Fund, Inc.. Established in 1948, The Attorneys‘ Title Insurance Fund, Inc. is a leading title underwriter in Florida.

8. Do I have to choose the closing/title agent that my realtor recommends?

No. You, as the seller, have the right to choose the closing agent for the sale of your home. This decision will undoubtedly be the most important one you make while selling your home. There are many „title mills“ out there. Title mills are companies that handle a very high volume of closing transactions. Closings are swiftly „processed through“ often at the expense of personalized service and document accuracy.

9: Why should I choose Palm Beach Title as the closing and title agent for my closing?

Because at Palm Beach Title & Escrow Co., we take great pride in our personalized service and our attention to detail, to ensure an accurate and smooth closing. We believe that buying and selling your home is one of the most important events in your life. Every closing is handled with excellent service and excellent performance. Furthermore, Palm Beach Title & Escrow Co. is owned and operated by an attorney licensed to practice law in Florida. We understand that in the midst of selling your home, you have many things on your mind – moving, changing jobs, schools, etc. At Palm Beach Title & Escrow Co., we strive to make the closing of your home the least of your concerns.

10: When do I contact Palm Beach Title & Escrow Co. to handle my closing?

Call us as soon as you have entered into a contract on the sale/purchase of your home or if you are about to enter into a contract on your home and have a sure buyer. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 561-620-7155.