Southwest Florida Title Insurance & Real Estate Blog -

Archive for October, 2013

On Wednesday the 23rd, we held our fourth and most successful #WFTLearn event at the Atrium in Fort Myers, FL  to inform our real estate partners about the ramifications of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 that just went into effect October 1st, 2013.

Many home owners and business owners here in Southwest Florida are experiencing rate shock due to the fact that their properties are not elevated, as many older properties are.

In the past, insurance agents could offer these property owners lower rates by putting them into a pre-FIRM (Flood insurance rate map) program.

But now that the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act is in effect, property owners can no longer be placed into this program.

As you can imagine, many owners of low-elevation properties here in Southwest Florida aren’t happy about this. If you’re one of them, we want to know:

How much has your flood insurance premium increased by?

Please answer in the comments section below.


Certificate of Title

This is the ninth of FSBO: 10 Tips for Selling Your Real Estate which can be downloaded as a free guide.

Once you’ve accepted an offer to sell your home and have finalized the contract, it’s closing time! But first, you should make a list of all the things that you and your buyer must do before closing.

For example, the property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some, or none of these items.

Your title company or real estate attorney can help you review this list and ensure you understand what you will be responsible for.

If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by your contract, then the sale may continue. If it is discovered that there are problems with the home, then your next step will depend on the terms set forth in your contract.

At this point, you or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations, or proceed to closing.

Once an offer is accepted, any earnest money from the buyer should be deposited with the title company. In some states, so-called “escrow companies” hold these funds. However, in Florida a title company or the attorney handling the real estate settlement and title insurance could hold the earnest money.

When you submit a fully executed agreement to the title company, the title work will begin.  The title process starts with a title search – a search of the public record that discloses documents of record that could affect the title to the property. Examples of such documents include:

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Let’s Get Ready to Negotiaaaaaate!

Posted by Chris On October 21

No doubt let’s get ready to negotiate doesn’t sound as cool as Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.

But I couldn’t come up with a more clever title to this blog post so that’s what we’re stuck with.

Anyhoo, when you’re selling your home “for sale by owner”, here is a helpful tip to help you negotiate with your buyer to come to a win-win agreement.

Check it out on

Are you ready to negotiate the sale of your house?

How to Help the Buyer of Your Home Get Financing

Posted by Chris On October 18
How to help the buyer of your home get financing

This is the seventh of 10 Tips for Selling Your Real Estate, a FREE guide to help you list your house “For Sale By Owner.” Available now at

Most sellers who list their home “for sale by owner”, tend to assume that potential buyers have been through the home-buying process and know the stages of buying a home.

However, the fact is, this is one of the services that a Realtor® would normally provide. It is now going to be up to you, as the seller, to walk the buyer through the process of getting to the closing table.

The best way to navigate financing is to align yourself with a local title company and mortgage company that can help walk you through the process.

Why you Need a Loan Officer or Mortgage Broker

By aligning yourself with a mortgage company, you are actually giving the loan officer leads in return for assisting you with the transaction, so it’s a win for everyone.

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Hey guys,

Just got back from the 2013 American Land Title Association (ALTA) Convention that was held at the Breakers in Palm Beach, FL and I wanted to share a few things with you.

Check out my video above and if you were there, I’d love to read what you took away from the convention in the comments section below!

Or if you have a question about any of the content in the video, you can contact me at my site.


The next step after someone offers to purchase your house

This is the sixth of 10 Tips for Selling Your Real Estate, a FREE guide to help you list your house “For Sale By Owner.” Available now at


You must be very excited (provided it’s a reasonable offer, of course).

When you receive a written offer for the sale of your house from a potential buyer, you will first need to find out whether or not the individual is pre-qualified or pre-approved to buy your home.

If so, then you will need to review the proposed contract with a title company or real estate attorney.

Make sure you understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction.

The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:

  • Offer price
  • Contingencies
  • Down payment
  • Settlement date
  • Deposit amount
  • Financing arrangements
  • Legal description of the property
  • List of fees and who will pay them
  • Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
  • Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home
  • Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing

At this point, you have three options:

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Since the United States shut down last Tuesday, I decided to research how this could affect the real estate industry especially when it comes to government loans.

Here’s what I found:

  1. The IRS isn’t processing any 4506-T forms which is used to verify tax transcripts during mortgage loan qualifications.
  2. Short sales will also slow down due to the issue stated above.
  3. USDA loans will not be approved during the shut down. This will affect those who are applying for a rural loan.
  4. FHA loans will be slowed down a bit only if it’s a single family dwelling. But there will be no new applications for multi-family homes processed.

Hit us up in the comments below if you’d like to opine!


NOT LEGAL ADVICE: This information is not to be construed as legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Every effort has been made to assure that this information is up-to-date as of the date of publication. It is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area. This information is not intended as legal advice and may not be used as legal advice. It should not be used to replace the advice of your own legal counsel.

Winged Foot Tite, LLC is not associated with the government, and our [short sale orchestration] service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.