How do you choose a title company in Texas? Both federal and state laws specif-
ically enforce the consumers’ right to choose their title services provider in a real
estate transaction. However, most consumers lack the knowledge to differentiate
between title companies, and default to a vendor chosen by their real estate agent
or mortgage lender.
texas title insurance:
YOU have the
do you know how to use it?
By Kara McGregor, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Independence Title
New rules adopted by the Consumer Financial Protec-
tion Bureau provide fresh emphasis on consumer
choice, but again, there are no stated guidelines
to help home buyers and sellers make an informed
decision on what company
should handle their transac-
tion. Most consumers aren’t
sure what title companies
really do, much less how to
judge which one is “best.”
In Texas, title insurance rates
are set by the Texas Depart-
ment of Insurance, so there
is no price differentiation to help steer a consumer
toward one company over another. The Texas model
for title insurance is one of the most consumer-friendly
in the nation, with rate-making formulas based on
actual costs of doing business, profit margins capped,
and discretionary fees low. Since rates are non-nego-
tiable, large commercial customers are not able to
negotiate lower rates at the expense of the average
consumer, which is the norm in deregulated states. All
Texas title policies cost the same one-time fee, based
on the sales price of the property.
So, how do you know?
What do you ask? What
search criteria do you put
in the box?
Here is a brief primer on
some factors that can
truly affect the experience
of your transaction, with
some clarifying questions to ask as you talk to your real
estate agent or mortgage lender, or as you browse title
company websites in search of clues.
Are there convenient locations?
With the parties to your transaction in mind, does
the title company have a location that is reasonably
“ Most consumers aren’t sure
what title companies really
do, much less how to judge
which one is ‘best’.”