In connection with real estate closings, our office provides Title Insurance through Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, one of the largest title insurance underwriters in the United States. As Title Agents, we have closed many large and small residential and commercial transactions, including multi-million dollar commercial properties as well as small condominium units.
In many of these real estate closings, the title search is usually performed several weeks after the purchase contract is signed. In fact, the “As-Is” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase approved by the Florida Realtors and the Florida Bar provides that the Title Insurance Commitment need not be issued until 15 days before the Closing Date, and if it is a “cash” transaction, then it need not be provided until 5 days before Closing Date.
This, however, could lead to significant delays in the closing if there are issues to be addressed, particularly if the issues that appear are not title defects or do not make title unmarketable. Therefore, I think that the better practice is to order a title search during the inspection period so that if there are significant issues, the buyer can make a decision as to whether to purchase the property or cancel the contract.
Indeed, we also recommend performing lien searches and code violation inspections and/or searches prior to the expiration of the inspection period, particularly if the purchase and sale transaction has certain time-sensitive issues, such as where the seller needs to close by a date certain due to the purchase of another property.