An interview with Glenn Asher of Kensington Vanguard National Land Services about the title process

Education and guidance from leading real estate professionals is essential to discovering the intricacies of selling and buying real estate. This is especially true when title – or ownership – of property is transferred from buyer to seller. To better understand this process, we turned to industry leader and subject matter expert Glenn Asher.

Glenn Asher, Kensington Vanguard National Land Services

After joining the company in a business development role in 2003, Asher became Executive Vice President at Kensington Vanguard National Land Services, one of the country’s largest title insurance agencies serving commercial and residential transactions. Focusing on the residential side of the business, Glenn has completed more than 30,000 transactions and moved his team from New York to South Florida, where he opened offices for the company in Miami, Broward and counties. Palm Beach. With references like these, Asher is a great source to educate us on title issues on residential properties.

In the United States, a title report is proof of title – or ownership – and is prepared by a title insurance agency or directly by a title insurer. It contains a legal description and tells the story of the property – or chain of title – based on public registration deeds, which are legal documents in which transfers from one owner to another are recorded. .

But, more importantly, a title report shows all possible charges – or legal claims against a property by someone other than the seller – that can cloud the title, hamper the transfer of ownership from the seller. to the buyer or make the title unsaleable. Examples of possible charges include easements – which give other parties the right to use the property – as well as liens or the legal right of creditors to use the property as an asset.

As such, it is imperative to conduct a title search in public documents, which gives potential buyers the assurance of a clear title. It also assures buyers that title (or ownership) can be transferred to them by the seller free of any charge. This is where Asher comes in and describes some of the most important aspects of the process to us.

Question: What is typically included in a title search report and how long does the process take?

A title report consists of researching the subject property, sellers, and buyer based on the specific type of transaction in progress. All reports include tax, judgment and lien searches, as well as patriot and bankruptcy searches. They also include the current registration deed showing ownership.

The lead time for the title report varies by jurisdiction. Many counties across the country have public records online while others require title examiners who physically search for records in the county of the property in question.

Question: What process should a broker follow to ensure that a property has no prior charges before a buyer becomes the owner?

Brokers should contact title insurance providers and their curative departments to resolve any issues that may hinder a clear and marketable title for their respective customers.

Question: Describe the role and importance of title insurance.

There are different types of title insurance policies that insure different types of transactions. During purchase transactions, two policies are generally issued. The first is a lender policy, which guarantees that the new lender will be in the first position of lien. This position of first lien guarantees the lender that in the event of foreclosure, he has priority to collect amounts owed on his mortgage. There is also an owner policy that protects the new buyer from any issues inherited with the title before it is closed. Unlike most types of insurance, title insurance covers past acts. Title is insured until the closing and registration of any new deed so that the seller’s history does not affect the new buyer once the sale is completed.

Question: What are the most common loads that you encounter?

Mortgages, liens and easements are the most common title charges that must be cleared and resolved before securing a transaction. Charges are barriers to the owner’s use and marketing of a property and can be seen as a cloud over a title.

Question: Describe the most common challenges you face when clearing a title when a property is submitted for probate.

We are at the mercy of the inheritance court, which determines the inheritance of a property and the subsequent heirs who will take possession of the property in the event of the owner’s death. We need to obtain death certificates and ensure that there are no unpaid heirs to the deceased’s property or debt, and that the appropriate administrative requirements have been met, which [will] lead to ownership. Probate-related transactions often come with issues that need to be clarified so that the buyer can avoid a possible insurance claim on the property by one or more of the deceased’s family members.

Question: Are there specific differences or challenges in clearing titles for luxury properties, in particular?

Luxury properties have the same criteria for research and subsequent work as any other transaction. Often times, higher value properties may have attorneys involved who can be helpful in the process if there is an issue with the title, and we need to get some customs clearance, such as mortgage clearances and old insurance policies- title.

Question: Has the COVID-19 crisis had an effect on the title process?

COVID-19 has affected headlines work in several ways. Primarily, if a county does not offer online services for obtaining information and has closed the archives room, there will be significant delays in obtaining real-time information. In addition, there are many travel restrictions, safety precautions, and additional measures that we need to take to ensure closure protection. At Kensington Vanguard, we have been fortunate to be able to limit the number of issues related to COVID-19 by being proactive and thoughtful in our practices, our communication and our approach.

Glenn Asher can be contacted at [email protected].

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Gregory M. Roy