Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

What does title mean?

Title refers to the ownership (or the right to) a given property. The right to, or ownership of, a real estate property. These rights include right of possession, right of control, right of exclusion, right of enjoyment and right of disposition. Title can be changed via various methods, including a will, court decree, law or sale of real property. That change in ownership is recorded in a deed and filed in Land Records where the property is located.

What is a deed?

A deed is a legal document recording the transfer in title from one person, or entity, to another. It is filed with the county where the property is located.

What is the difference between title and deed?

A deed is used to transfer property ownership, and is filed in the county where the property is located, whereas a title defines property ownership.

What is a note?

A note is a promise (in writing) to pay someone a predetermined amount of money over a specific period of time. It often contains terms including late payment penalties, default and legal remedies if the payments are not met.

A note differs from a mortgage in that it is a promise to pay, not a transfer of ownership. A note is customarily given to a lender, whereas a mortgage is filed within the county where the property is located.

What is title insurance?

Purchasing title insurance protects homeowners or lenders against potential unforeseen issues with the title – which can sometimes occur when a property has changed hands many times.

Do I need title insurance?

Most people do purchase title insurance that in most cases is required by your Lender when purchasing a home with a loan (in order to protect their security interest).

What is settlement?

Often referred to as closing, settlement is the completion of a real estate transfer from the seller to the buyer.

What is closing?

Closing is another term for settlement (see above).

Does my real estate agent need to be an expert in title?

Real estate agents are typically familiar with the contractual aspects of title, as well as when to utilize a title and/or settlement company into the proceedings. There are many complex state and county legal elements related to title, and are best handled by a title or settlement company that specializes in it.

Do all title companies also do settlements?

No. Some companies specialize in title insurance, while others only provide settlement and escrow services. We believe that choosing a company that can handle both things is your best bet, because it streamlines the process and makes your life easier – while also ensuring that no detail is overlooked.

Why should I choose Legacy Settlement Services?

In a word: Trust. We go above and beyond to provide you with honest, straightforward advice, and our title experts will match you to a policy that meets your specific needs – all at a reasonable price, without ever trying to oversell you.

Does the seller or the buyer decide which title insurance to purchase?

It depends on where you live. In some states, the homebuyer has option to choose which of the owner’s policy he or she can buy. In other states, that decision is with the seller. Wherever you live, your lender will always request title insurance.

Do title insurance policies vary from company to company?

Not really. Most companies offer both basic and enhanced policies, each with the same general terms.

Can I buy title insurance after settling on my house?

Not really. Most companies offer both basic and enhanced policies, each with the same general terms.

What does title insurance include?

Title insurance is different from a Lender’s policy, which specifically protects the lender’s security interest in the property. Basic and enhanced Owner’s policies provide you with protection against undiscovered issues that happened before you purchased the home – such as unpaid property taxes other persons that might claim a legal right to the property.

Enhanced policies include everything that basic policies include, but also expand to include situations including incorrect surveys or permit violations that occurred before your purchase and often appreciate with the value of your home.

How much does title insurance cost?

It varies, depending on what state you live in and the regulations specific to that state.

What are the most common issues that title insurance covers?

Title insurance covers a number of situations, the most common of which are unpaid taxes, interest disputes with property heirs, liens and deed fraud. Inaccurate legal descriptions of the property are also included.

How do I decide on a title insurance company?

We urge you to spend some time researching your options. The companies most worthy of your trust are the ones that are most transparent about what they do, how much they charge and what their clients say about them. We invite you to explore our services and our reviews.

What is vesting?

Vesting is defined as the rights and responsibilities of the individuals holding a property title for. These rights and responsibilities include ownership, use, taxes, profit and transferability, and sometimes differ from state to state.

Most vesting types are either single (if one person owns a title) or joint (if two or more people own a title).

Joint ownership includes:

  • Joint tenancy – Equal ownership by one or more people with right of survivorship.
  • Tenancy by the entirety – Ownership by a married couple, each of whom owns an undivided 50% of the property, also with right of survivorship.
  • Tenancy in common – Ownership of a percentage of the property by two or more tenants, who can sell their interest independently if they so wish.

Can I change my vesting type?

Yes, you can work with a title company to update your deed (which lists your vesting type) and re-file it with the county. If you’re not required to change your vesting type, it’s advisable to wait until you can change it in combination with another transaction (refinancing your house, for example).

Should I change my vesting type if I've gotten married?

There is no requirement to do this (it’s called “perfecting the title”), but you can if you choose. Again, it’s probably easier to wait until you complete another transaction (refinancing, for example), and update your deed at the same time.

What is the difference between homeowner's insurance and title insurance?

Homeowner’s insurance is more specific to damage or loss due to fire, theft or accidents. Title insurance is more geared toward providing coverage against legal issues that weren’t discovered prior to your purchase.

What is a Closing Disclosure?

A Closing Disclosure (CD) is a form explaining the final details about your home purchase. Included in the form are terms, closing costs, estimated monthly payments and other fees. It also lists the home’s purchase price, property taxes and more.

Buyers and sellers have separate CDs; it is usually the lender’s job to prepare and deliver the buyer’s CD, whereas the seller’s CD is typically prepared and delivered by the title company.

Can I hire Legacy Settlement Services for settlement services but purchase title insurance from another company?

Since the two services are closely intertwined, we believe it makes more sense for you to let one company handle both. We do everything we can to make your settlement as seamless as possible – including suggesting the best insurance policy for your needs.

What if I have questions throughout the process?

Your Legacy Settlement Services closing specialist is on hand from start to finish, ensuring that all of your questions are answered and keeping you posted on any and all updates. We’re always here to help.


We would love to learn more about your transaction and how we can help.