Title Service FAQ


Why do I need title insurance?

A title insurance policy guarantees that the property you are purchasing is free of undisclosed liens, confusion in the rights of ownership, and other clouds on the title. Clouds of title can include mistakes in recording legal documents, clerical errors in public records, undisclosed or missing heirs, invalid divorces, misrepresentation of marital status.

Doesn't the deed ensure I own the property?

No. A deed does not cancel certain prior "rights" or "claims" other people may have to your property. These claims might go back in time months or decades.

Why should I use a local company for title insurance?

There are lenders who use private individuals to conduct searches for them, however, those individuals may not be trained or even licensed to conduct a thorough search. Their searches are often by name of the owner instead of legal description. When searching by name, discrepancies are often missed which could result in boundary line disputes, incorrect transfer of ownership, even missed liens.

Why do I have to have title insurance when I refinance my property?

While you will not be getting a new owners policy when you refinance, banks require a lenders policy to protect them against anything that might affect their interest in the property. This would include previous mortgages, mechanic's liens, unpaid taxes, judgments, etc.

My realtor has asked the seller to pay part of my closing costs. What does that mean?

It all depends on how the contract was worded. If worded that the "seller will pay up to a specific dollar amount in closing costs, pre-paids, discount fees" it means that the seller will contribute towards the title company fees, bank fees and any third party fees up to and not to exceed the specified amount. If the contract says the "buyer and seller will split the closing fee" it generally means the title company's fee to conduct the closing. Please be sure you, the realtors and your loan officer agree on what the seller is expected to pay. Closings can be delayed and contracts voided if there is a misunderstanding.

What fees does Jeffries Abstract charge and who usually pays for them?

There is a title search fee which is usually paid by the seller. There is a title examination fee and a title insurance premium fee both are usually paid by the buyer. If the title company is conducting a closing, there will be a Closing Fee which is generally shared equally by buyer and seller (the fee may include but is not limited to printing and copying an entire loan package, receipt of wires, email fees, conducting the closing).

There can also be third party fees collected by the title company: If the buyer has a lender, the lender usually requires a closing protection letter which is paid for by the buyer. There can also be an overnight fee charged to the seller to send any payoffs and an overnight fee to the buyer should their loan documents have to be sent out of town. There is a recording fee charged by the Recorder's Office for the deed and deed of trust, if applicable, and this is usually paid for by the buyer.

If the property includes a mobile home, there may be additional fees.

For an estimate of fees, please contact us.

We will need to know the sales price of the property and the loan amount, if applicable, to give an estimate for the title insurance.

Do I have the right to choose which title company is used?

The Missouri real estate sales contract gives the buyer the right to choose the title company. All title companies are not the same so even though your lender, realtor or even the seller might insist upon a certain company, the decision is yours.

How long will it take to close?

If the buyer is paying cash, the closing could take place within two weeks of Jeffries Abstract receiving the contract.

If the buyer is getting a loan, it would depend on how long the loan process takes. Generally a loan could take 45-60 days to be ready to close. Each lender has different requirements and underwriting procedures.

The length of time also depends on if any title issues are found and how long it takes to resolve them. Some matters might be able to be resolved in just a day or two while other matters might take weeks. Jeffries Abstract will not close on a property until we know the matters have either been resolved or an agreement has been reached.

Jeffries Abstract also reviews every document available regarding the property all the way back to the first owner. This could involve a thousand documents to search through or maybe only a hundred. The amount of documents/research would also affect the length of time. Jeffries Abstract strives to provide you with accurate results, which is why people have said, "If you want it done right you use Jeffries".

I am selling land that includes a mobile home that is on a permanent foundation. Do I still need the title?

Yes. A mobile home is not considered "affixed" to the real estate until the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles accepts specific documentation. Even though this law was recently passed, title insurance cannot be issued on a mobile home unless the appropriate paperwork is filed and accepted by the DMV.

What if I don't have the title to my mobile home?

You will need to provide the year, make/model, and VIN number to us so we can run a search through the DMV. If previous issuance of a title is not found, you will need to file the appropriate documentation with the Recorder's Office and the DMV. Once the DMV approves the documentation and certifies the mobile home as "affixed", title insurance can be issued and a closing can take place.

To complete the necessary paperwork for the DMV, an attorney will need to sign the Form 5314. You will need to contact an attorney and discuss their willingness to sign and also any fees that they might charge.

Unfortunately, we cannot assist in the completion of the documentation for any mobile homes for which proof of a title is not found.

What area does Jeffries Abstract cover?

We work exclusively in Laclede County, Missouri and are proud to be the only geographically indexed title plant in the county.

What other resources are available to help me understand the process?

While realtors and lenders are very knowledgeable in the process, there are also other sources of information you will find helpful. Check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website, consumerfinance.gov, under the Consumer Tools tab, where you will find information regarding Know Before You Owe. The American Land Title Association also hosts an informative website at homeclosing101.org. Please also feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

Buying or Selling a Real Estate Property? Call Us Today

If you need a title search, title insurance or other title services in Laclede County, Missouri, call Jeffries Abstract and Title Company at 417-532-7189.