By Laura from Groton, MA
You really should talk to a title/closing company and/or real estate attorney. The fees are well worth it to protect both you and the buyer and there are standard rules of which party pays what just so you know that you won't be responsible for it all. There is more to selling a home than taking the cash and turning over the title. You also need to talk to a CPA to find out if and how much in Capital Gains taxes you are going to owe to the federal and state government. You don't want to be surprised and bitten in the behind down the road with huge fines plus payment of those taxes.
the person selling the house does not need title insurance but the person buying the house may want it.
Why don't you try a real estate broker and see what they tell you. Some of these can draw up a deed for a fee but just be sure you know what all the charges are going to be before agreeing to anything.
Maybe you and the buyer can split the cost of doing the paperwork. The deed then has to be filed with the county court house.
Title insurance is the only type of insurance that I know of which insures you for past events (rather than the future) and that you only have to pay for it once, and the policy is good until you sell your home, or refinance. Still many ask, what is it's purpose? Why insure history? The reason is simple, when you buy a home, you are buying all assets and liabilities associated with that home. Title is a historic record of that properties past. This history includes past owners, past use, legal description of the property, any liens against it, etc. Purchasing a title insurance policy means title is clean, or that there are no liabilities associated with the property.
With an active title insurance policy should someone or something show up on title that was not disclosed when you bought the home, you are insured the difference. What could happen? You could find out the lot is smaller than you originally anticipated, title would refund the difference, a lien shows up on title from the past, title would pay for it. A past owner shows up with verifiable proof that you just bought his home, title refunds you your purchase money. The list goes on.
I believe you do but I am not sure, logic says you would need at least a title lawyer to transfer the title to the buyer. There are probably some legal websites that could answer that question, as a matter of fact, go to: www.abaner.org/legalservices/probono/directory.html and select your state for free legal assistance.You can also try findlegalhelp.org and www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm. These are URLs out of a book I have for free or inexpensive services, some of the links are no good because the book is now over a year old and the sites have changed or dropped out of existence. Good Luck.
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