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Rhode Island (RI) Real Estate Law – Closing & Title Lawyers – Attorneys

1) What is title insurance? How much? Should I buy it?

Owner’s title insurance protects the Buyer of a property against liens or defects not discovered in the title prior to the time of purchase. Title insurance insures the registration title and protects the property owner from loss arising from defects that occur prior to the policy date. Therefore, it differs from other types of insurance because it is retrospective in nature. It also differs from other types of insurance in that only a single premium is charged for title insurance, but the protection lasts as long as you own the property. There are different title insurance policies that protect both homeowners and lenders. Lender’s title insurance serves the same purpose, but only for the lender in a transaction. The fee is typically about $2.50 per $1,000 for lender’s coverage and $3.50 per $1,000 for homeowner’s coverage. Lender’s insurance is required and you are strongly encouraged to purchase homeowner’s insurance for numerous reasons. If you have any questions about this or if you have been told that homeowners insurance is not necessary, please contact one of our attorneys to make an informed decision.

Since one’s home is often one’s largest financial investment, it is very prudent and wise for the owner to want to protect that investment and enjoy the benefits of homeownership. The owner’s title policy is that protection.

2) What types of claims does Owner’s Title Insurance cover?

The owner’s title policy insures against loss or damage suffered by the owner due to historical discrepancies such as forgery, undisclosed but recorded prior mortgages, bankruptcies, liens or divorces, improperly recorded deeds, missing wills or heirs, and inadequate descriptions of the property. .

3) Why do I need a lawyer for a closing?

An attorney should always be present at a closing to answer legal questions and resolve disputes. Most lenders require the presence of an attorney at all closings. At our firm, all closings are always done by an attorney. In Rhode Island, the buyer has the right to choose the attorney who handles the title search. You should always insist on an attorney over a title company, as we will help resolve any issues that arise and will not limit our scope to a mere title search.

4) When do I get my income as a Seller?

The seller will receive the proceeds of the sale after the deed has been registered. In our office we always register the documents the same day if the closing occurs before noon, and within 24 hours after closing in any case, except weekends and holidays.

5) What happens if the house is not ready to move in on closing day?

If the home is not in move-in condition at the time of closing, you will need to consult with an attorney. At our firm, if we are handling the closing, we will always strive to help the buyer with the situation. Options include postponing closing, extending credit to the buyer, or depositing funds from the seller until the property is in proper condition.

6) Where does the closing take place?

Closing will occur at the buyer’s attorney’s office. Occasionally, the closing may occur at the lender’s office or at a real estate agency, but the vast majority close at the attorney’s office.

7) What form of money should I bring to closing?

Buyers must bring a cashier’s check or certified funds at closing. If one of these options is not available, buyers must arrange to transfer funds directly to the closing attorney at least one business day prior to closing day. If verifiable funds are not present at closing, filing of documents will be delayed and the buyer may not be able to move into the new home. Personal checks or cash are accepted in nominal amounts up to a maximum of $1000.

8) What other obligations exist as a Seller of a property?

Seller is required to present a Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Certificate at closing. To obtain a certificate, the seller or the seller’s agent must contact the fire department of the municipality in which the property is located for inspection.

9) Will I receive a property inspection at closing?

No. In Rhode Island, lenders do not require surveys. Unless the buyer requests a survey, no one will physically check the property lines. In Massachusetts, a lender may require a property plan that does not formally locate all property lines, but locates the house in a particular neighborhood within the lines.

10) Will I receive an appraisal of the property at closing?

You are always entitled to a copy of the lender’s appraisal if a lender is involved on your behalf as a buyer. The appraisal is often filed at closing, or can be requested in writing.

11) What if my property is in a flood zone?

If the property you are buying is in a flood zone as shown on government maps, the lender will require you to obtain flood insurance. You should be careful about this whenever the property is near water, as flood insurance is usually quite expensive.

12) Does title search or title insurance cover zoning issues?

No. Zoning determinations are completely independent of property title. If you would like an attorney to verify the zoning for you, an additional fee will be required.

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