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Realtor & Broker Services

Real Estate Professional FAQ's

Why should you use The Security Title Guarantee Corporation of Baltimore?

The Security Title Guarantee Corporation of Baltimore is a national title insurance underwriter that has been in continuous operation for over fifty (50) years. The company has earned an FSR Seal for SECURITY TITLE GUARANTEE CORPORATION OF BALTIMORE (THE) rating from Demotech, Inc., the nation's leading title insurer rating organization, which rates companies within this industry on a number of criteria. For more information see our Corporate Information.

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What is the "direct operations" department?

The Direct operations department is an in house settlement agent. The department handles residential and commercial real estate transactions. By using the direct operations department you can benefit by having both the title agent and title underwriter in house. Accordingly, if there is a way to do the transaction, you will have the full resources of the company at your disposal.

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What can the real estate professional do to make closing a smooth process?

The real estate professional can do a number of things to make the closing process a smooth one for your client. Collect all information possible from your client. Here are some examples of information that will be needed. 1) If your client is an entity other than an individual, the title company will need to verify its legal existence; i.e.: articles of incorporation, partnership agreements, articles of organization, operating agreements, by-laws and so on. 2) If your client is holding title among the land records with a person who has died, evidence of death will be needed in order to pass title to the buyer. This can become very difficult to find once a seller begins to pack up their home for the move. 3) If your client is a trustee or a personal representative for an estate, the documents that create their position will be necessary. A quick call to the title agent at the time of contract can alleviate that panic call the week of settlement.

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My clients can not be present at the scheduled closing date, what are the alternatives to postponement? Who should I contact?

There are several alternatives to postponing a closing, the alternatives are all generally better than canceling a scheduled settlement; after all it was hard enough to get everyone together in the first place. If you have a Seller who will not be available at settlement, contact the closing agent as soon as possible. The closing agent can prepare the necessary seller documents and/or a power of attorney for the individual who will not be available. Remember it will be necessary to have a representative at settlement. Also, the closing agent will need instructions as to where the proceed funds, if any, should be sent. If you have a buyer who will not be available for settlement the first call should be to the lender, if one is involved in the transaction. Some lenders will not allow the use of a buyer’s power of attorney. If the lender agrees to the use of a power of attorney, the closing agent will assist in the preparation of the document. If your client happens to be a trustee, personal representative or other agent, the power of attorney will not be an option for avoiding a delay, however an alternative settlement arrangement can be made by use of the mail and overnight services. Contact your closing agent as soon as possible. They are familiar with other alternatives to get your deal closed in a timely fashion.

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What is the difference between an attorney in fact, trustee and a personal representative?

The main difference between the three titles is the source and limitations of their authority to act on behalf of their principal or entity.

A personal representative is appointed by an Order of the Court. The following documents should be collected when your client is a personal representative: 1) Letter of Appointment and 2) the party’s death certificate.

A trustee is appointed through a legal document, whether it is a family trust or an Appointment of Substitute Trustee filed among the land records. If your client is a trustee of a family trust it would keep the transaction moving smoothly to obtain a copy of the Trust instrument as soon as possible. Further documentation may be necessary, but the trust itself is a good start.

An attorney in fact is appointed by a power of attorney. As soon as possible, a copy of the power of attorney should be provided to the closing agent for his/her review. The closing agent will be inspecting the document for completeness and accuracy with the current law as well as to whether or not it may be used for the current transaction. If the document is acceptable to the closing agent, the original document will be needed for closing, and may need to be recorded among the land records of the jurisdiction to complete the transaction. Most closing agents prefer a specific limited power of attorney, and will prepare one if necessary.

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My client is a business entity; does this require additional documentation prior to settlement?

Yes, to expedite the process of closing, the business entity should provide copies of the Articles of Incorporation or Organization, by-laws or operating agreements, a certificate of good standing from the Department of Assessments or Secretary of State (if available), and the authorization of the entity to proceed with the transaction (i.e.: borrowing resolution or other corporate resolution authorizing the agent to act.)

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The title search uncovered a title problem, is the deal "dead"?

Not usually, but it may require everyone’s cooperation to solve. There are very few title issues that can not be corrected, however some of the problems are beyond the control of the closing agent (i.e.: a needed court order or a prior release issue). The best thing a real estate professional can do when a title issue is discovered is to get an explanation as to what is wrong and what needs to be done to correct it. Keeping yourself and your client informed will generally keep the transaction moving forward.

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