Take a look at this list one of my book readers sent me today. She is buying a home in Southern California. The title and escrow company was chosen by the real estate agent, even though federal law says it is Buyer’s choice.
See if you can pick out the unnecessary fees:
Lenders Policy for $844,000 — $1,074
E Recording Service Fee — $15
Sub Escrow Fee — $100
Messenger/Overnight — $30
Endorsements — $150
Escrow Fee — $2,302
Loan Tie-In Fee — $250
Email Document Fee — $100
Archive Fee — $50
Document Handling — $50
Notary/Sign up Fee — $200
Wow!!! What a lot of fees, right?
This is like going to a restaurant and ordering a hamburger. Then you get charged extra for mayo, ketchup, lettuce, pickle, salt, and the bun. I mean, come on! Isn’t your $15 hamburger enough without collecting more for every tiny thing that is standard and should be included?
Response to the Objection
When the home buyer objected to the real estate agent (the one who chose this over-priced title and escrow company), here is what the agent said:
“The escrow officer is an amazing person. I would trust her with my kid.”
That’s fine if you’re looking for a babysitter! But what’s that got to do with all her needless fees?
The only thing I’d find amazing about her is how she can get away with over-charging home buyers and convince real estate agents to send her business! Makes one wonder… as in illegal kickbacks…? Just musing, not accusing.
Folks, it doesn’t matter if the seller’s agent has already opened title with a certain company. FEDERAL LAW says you, the Buyer, get to choose the title and escrow company.
It’s easy to do a Google search for “title insurance” + zip code. Then make three phone calls and get a quick quote right over the phone. No need to ask for anything in writing. If you shop with three, you should find a good, fair title company to work with.
Don’t bother asking Yelp or other review sites. People who post there are like the real estate agent who chose this high-priced title company because the person is “amazing” or “friendly” or “good with kids.”
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