Top 10 Seller FAQ’s

What will my fees be?

At Search2Close Title, we have an easy way to find out: by running a Seller Net Proceeds Sheet. With this, we can highlight what your costs will be and give you a good estimate of what you’ll actually walk away with from the sale of your home. We’ll calculate in your taxes, any commissions, our closing fees, etc. to give you a great idea of what you’ll net. If you’re not quite in contract yet, you can even run up to three different prices at the same time to see how they could affect your net proceeds.

How long will my transaction take from start to finish?

This is a great question, and the answer depends on your buyers’ method of payment. If they are getting a loan to purchase your property, the typical answer is “between 30 and 45 days;” of course, that can be a little more or a little less, all depending on the lending institution giving the loan, the type of loan, etc. Your Contract will also have an Expiration date (typically towards the end) which, unless otherwise specified or changed, will be your Closing date.

What information will you need from me?

Once you get into Contract with buyer(s), we will need certain pieces of information from you to process your transaction, such as your best contact information, your current Mortgage company and account number(s), your Social Security number (see below), etc. The Escrow Officer assigned to your transaction will reach out to you, introduce themselves, and pass along a Seller Information Sheet for you to fill out and return; this will give us just about everything we need to completely process your transaction and prepare you for closing!

Why do you need my social security number?

Believe it or not, there are 4 reasons why Search2Close Title needs your Social Security number!

  1. ) Reporting the sale to the Internal Revenue Service: By law, Search2Close Title is required to report the sale of your home to the IRS. We will give you a 1099-S form to hold onto when Tax Season rolls around; keep that document, and keep your Settlement Statement (both given to you at closing) for your own Tax and Accounting purposes.
  2. ) Common-Name Judgments: Judgments (like unpaid child support or an income tax lien, for example) are organized and filed in each county by name. This means that if your name is “Michael Smith,” chances are excellent that a number of liens will show up under your name when we perform our searches. Your Social Security number allows us to further delineate and ensure that these judgments/liens don’t belong to you; if they did, we would almost always have to pay those off prior to closing, though we will
  3. ) FIRPTA: If you are not a U.S. Citizen, you (the seller) could be liable for a 10-15% tax withholding from the proceeds of your sale, per the Internal Revenue Service. Your Social Security number will prevent this from being an issue!
  4. ) Lien Payoffs: One of the many things we do to streamline your closing is to order your mortgage payoff(s) for you! This ensures that we have the most timely and accurate information prior to closing, and to do this, almost every lending institution will require your Social Security number, both verifying that we’ve been working together to process your file and protecting your information from other people who shouldn’t be accessing it.

Don’t worry, though – we always keep private information private, and we pride ourselves on enacting various company policies and procedures to keep your Non-public Private Information (“NPI”) private. We never sell or otherwise disseminate any piece of information we receive from you, including your email address and social security number.

What happens to my current mortgage on my house?

No worries! At closing, we will send any current mortgagees you may have a “close-out letter” which will pay the mortgage in full (from your proceeds) and release it from the property. You don’t have to worry about a thing. Second mortgage? Home Equity Line of Credit? Same deal – easy and seamless for you!

How will I receive my proceeds after closing?
  • There are actually a number of different ways to receive your proceeds from the sale of your home! The most common way is for us to simply wire the funds into your checking/savings account; this is the fastest way (on average, just a few hours from the time we initiate the wire), and all we need from you is a voided check!
  • Alternatively, we can simply give you a cashier’s check to take to your financial institution, though most institutions will put a hold on those funds for 3-5 business days. If you need your money ASAP, a wire will be the most efficient method!
  • Selling your home and immediately buying another one? No problem at all. We will work with the title company handling your purchase and wire them any/all funds, if necessary, to make the selling-then-buying process as easy as possible. Just imagine how easy it would be if Search2Close was handling both your sale and your purchase – all of your funds would stay in one place! How easy is that?

*Note: for us to wire you your funds, the voided check must be in the name of the title holder – if John A. Smith is the owner of record on the house, John A. Smith needs to be the name on the check; same goes for Trusts, LLCs and other corporations/partnerships, etc. For your security, we cannot wire funds to an account in the name of a non-owner.*

What is Title Insurance?

Plain and simple, it's peace of mind for both Buyer and Seller that the property is transferring "free and clear" to the Buyers. This means that the Sellers are 100% done with the property, giving the Buyers 100% ownership of the property. Nobody else can claim ownership or interest, and that's where the insurance comes into play. Part of our job in the transaction is to perform a thorough search of the property, the sellers, and the buyers, and the reason we do that is to find out exactly what's going on with the property:

  • Are there any mortgages?
  • Are there any tax/child support/medicare/etc. liens on the property?
  • Any unpaid sewer bills?
  • Do the buyers/sellers have any personal liens or judgments against them?

Believe it or not, all of the above (and then some) attach to the property, regardless of who owns it. On very, very rare occasion, it is possible for a title company to "miss" one of the above items in their examination of everything; since liens attach to the property, that means even the new homeowners could get slapped with an additional mortgage that isn’t even in their name! Title Insurance is there to protect you from that and many other potential threats to your “Clear Title” – your sole ownership with no old or unrelated interests on the property. If such an instance would ever happen, we would take it from there. You wouldn't have to worry about a thing! As always, we're here to protect you.

Why am I, the Seller, paying for the Buyer’s Title Insurance?

This is actually quite customary in Columbus, and it can be found in the standard central Ohio Purchase Contract (section 9: Title Insurance): “The Seller shall furnish and pay for an ALTA Homeowner’s Commitment and Policy of Title Insurance (latest revision) in the amount of the purchase price with a copy of the subdivision or condominium plat.” If you have bought or sold real estate in other parts of Ohio/the United States, you may have noticed different area customs for “who’s responsible for paying what;” for example, it is quite customary in California for the Buyer to pay for Title Insurance. This can range based on where and when you last bought or sold, but the current custom is (and the current Contract dictates) that the Seller is to provide and pay for this insurance. Have a question about this in greater detail? Give us a call! We’re happy to explain this further and help you as best we can.

Why does my spouse need to sign?
  • Ohio is one of just a handful of remaining states that still recognizes “Dower Rights.” Essentially, if you are married, your spouse automatically has an interest in any property you own, whether they are on title or not. If purchasing a home (and getting a loan to do so), the same law would apply, though cash purchases are exempt. However, when selling a property, your spouse does need to sign at least a couple of documents, whether you’re estranged or happily married.
  • Spouse not local? No problem at all! We have a network of notaries all over the United States who are happy to meet your spouse wherever and whenever is convenient for them!
Do I have to come to your office to sign?

Nope! At Search2Close Title, we pride ourselves on our unmatched flexibility. While we certainly recommend closing in our first-class Search2Close offices for a many reasons, our remote closing service makes signings easy and efficient for you – and best of all, there’s no charge!

If you’re closing within central Ohio or in greater Tampa Bay Florida, you’ll rest easy knowing a Search2Close representative will be conducting your closing.

Not in the local area? No sweat – our Notary Network means you can sign anywhere, anytime in the United States. From a coffee shop in California to a beach in Florida, we can (and regularly do) sign anywhere, any time.

Just one more way we make your transaction as seamless as possible!