Use Precise Language in your Contract

by Nick 29. August 2014 14:57

Can my Buyer get out of the contract if the Seller failed to repair the agreed-upon repair items?

The contract language said the Seller agrees to repair the items or to credit the Buyer for the items. When the parties spoke, the Seller agreed to hire people to do the repairs, but just before the closing the repairs weren't done. The Seller said he would credit the Buyer instead, escrowing money for repairs.

Because the Buyer and the Lender expected the repairs to be completed, they were not prepared to switch to a Seller credit or escrow for repairs.

Now, because of the contract language, the problem falls upon the Buyer because the Seller is willing to perform according to the contract terms.

So, the bottom line is, make sure the contract states what you expect. If the Seller agrees to the repairs, change the contract to state Seller repairs, and remove the option to credit the Buyer.

In contract negotiations things are moving fast, but you have to slow down and double-check the language to make sure there is no "WIGGLE ROOM" for the other party.

Also, it is always a good idea to have another person review the language to see if it says what you think it says.



Buyers of HUD-Owned Properties Can Select Title Company

by Nick 25. October 2013 11:38

Have you heard?  HUD now allows the buyer to choose their own title agent for HUD sales. YES

AND, Prodigy Title has been approved to handle these closings.

We would LOVE to do your HUD closings for you!

See the form below, which you can print out and use in place of the blank form you are supplied.

This form is from the Ofori and Associates company. (See the bottom of the form)  If you are given a form from another HUD company, then you can use the info from our form, or you can send the form to me and I will complete that section for you.

Prodigy Title's Buyer Select Number is Prodig0001 .

With everything you have to do already, I hope this form helps make your job just a little simpler.

Buyer Select Title Company HUD-owned.pdf (56.32 kb)


Protecting a Seller who Agrees to Extensive Repairs

by Nick 3. June 2013 13:23

I have heard a couple stories lately about buyers requesting a lot of repairs.

In one case, after a seller completed $10,000 in repairs requested by a buyer, the buyer decided to back out of the contract.

One way a seller could protect himself might be to ask the buyer to increase the earnest money when the seller is taking on a large additional expense and risk.

This way the buyer has more in the game, but it is still earnest money, so if the work is not done properly, the Buyer has leverage to get it done right.



Listing a property for a recently widowed seller

by Nick 16. May 2013 14:02

I am listing a property for someone who recently lost their spouse who was also in title.  What should I do to make sure everything is in order prior to them signing the Listing Agreement and Contract to prevent delays in closing?

The real question is; How do they hold title?  

1.  If the title was held in survivorship, then you don't need to do much now. You can normally have the survivor sign the listing agreement and the contract.  You should
     a. make sure they have a death certificate (not just a copy) for the title agency to attach to a survivorship affidavit, and
     b. you should ask if they ever got divorced.  Divorce can remove the survivorship status. Remember, a divorce may not take place in the same County as the property, so we may not find it on our title exam.

2.  If there is not a survivorship deed, then an estate will need to be started right away, so we can get a gauge on what kind of delay there may be and who is authorized to sign your contract. 

It is always a good idea to see if they have copies of their title deeds, and if you are not sure what you are looking at, forward it on to me.



Lost in Foreclosure

by Nick 19. February 2013 15:23
In a closing that seems to have been lost in translation, a buyer's property was lost in foreclosure.

A Buyer bought a property from the seller before completion of a Tax foreclosure, but did not purchase the owner's policy.

Unfortunately the tax foreclosure wasn't completely satisfied and continued through to a sale of the property.
Someone bought the property and


When the Buyer bought it, the property was not expensive, and the closing seemed simple enough.

But now
, for the Buyer, the agents, the title agency, there is stress, anxiety, turmoil, and did I say stress? All things we like to avoid in our daily lives.

People ask me all the time if the title seems clear, if the people owned it a long time, and other questions trying to justify not buying an owner's policy.

All I can say is, the risk is always uncertain.

NOTE: If the buyer is spending lots of money on improvements, they probably want to buy an increased amount of coverage.  In a case like this, an owner's policy would have paid back the purchase price, but not improvement expenses.



Nicholas D. Perrino
Attorney at Law
Prodigy Title Agency
8080 Beckett Center Dr. #318
West Chester, OH 45069
513  870-9070 PH
513  870-9071 FX


Dower Release

by Nick 14. January 2013 15:20

What is Dower? We get lots of questions asking why a spouse must sign when they are not on the deed. Click below for a general explanation of Dower.

Dower release explanation Generally.pdf (46.62 kb)


Owner's vs Lender's Title Insurance

by Nick 19. September 2012 11:15

If my Lender requires Lender's Title Insurance, why do I need to buy Owner's Title Insurance? Click on the link below to see a quick comparison of Owner's Policies and Lender's Policies.

Owner's v Lender's Insurance Polices.pdf (61.26 kb)


REO Sales & Foreclosures

by Nick 10. September 2012 14:38

Recently we pulled a title exam on a property that the Seller purchased from a bank. 

They used the Bank's title agency to close their purchase, and they did not buy an owner's policy.

The problem, a $17,000 lien was filed 4 months before the foreclosure started, but was never mentioned in the foreclosure.

How did this happen?

When we checked the foreclosure, the title report used was 10 MONTHS OLD!!  They did not update the title to find the lien.

Because the closing was handled by the Bank's title agency, who also handled the foreclosure, they had no reason to double-check their work. If the Bank is paying for the title insurance, you should always get it. 

This resulted in the Buyer taking title to a property with a $17,000 lien on it.

At this point the Seller has to negotiate with the lien-holder for a payoff in order to close.

This is another example of the risk involved in dealing with REO sales and foreclosures. 

Keep your fingers crossed.




Do you need GAP Title Insurance?

by Nick 31. July 2012 17:02

When you buy title insurance, can you buy insurance for the GAP?

There is normally a period of time after the closing where the deed is not yet recorded. During this time, the seller can have liens or other items filed that affect the buyer's title. This period of time, from the closing to the recording is called the GAP.

So, do we offer GAP coverage for this time period?

ANSWER: It is not a question of offering GAP coverage to a buyer.

The GAP is already a covered risk in the 2006 Policy Forms so there is no need for an extra fee for coverage. The GAP is a Covered Risk in #10 on the Owners Policies and #14 on the Lender Policies.

Don't let someone try to sell you something that is already included.

Of course, if they don't get the owner's coverage, the GAP period is another risk the buyer takes on themselves.


Know Your State's Lien Laws by Howard Ain

by Nick 7. May 2012 14:19

I teach a class about liens in Ohio and a new article in the Suburban Life newspaper helps underscore one of several problems with liens in Ohio.

The article explains that most liens in Ohio are filed against a name, not against a property, which makes it difficult or impossible to know if the lien affects your property.

In this article the lien is against one of the current owner's names. These can be easily fixed if debtor on the lien is not our owner. We simply have our owner sign an affidavit stating it is not them, and therefore, not attached to their property.

The tougher problem we run into occurs when the lien is against a prior owner, and we cannot track that person down, or we find them and they refuse, to sign this affidavit. We have to assume the lien is against our property and cannot proceed until the lien is dealt with.

Here is the link to Howard Ain's article.


Click Here for Howard Ain's Article