Our services are provided in five orderly steps:
1. Gathering Information. The first step is to gather information. We review the purchase agreement and lender's to verify the names of buyers/borrowers, sellers, and the lender. We obtain and verify the legal description and property tax identification number(s). We verify social security numbers for all parties. We verify the sale price, loan amount, realtor's fees, and all other data which is necessary to complete steps 2-5. Lisa Marie Schmidt gathers most of this information and enters it into our system.
2. We Research The Status of Title and Issue a Title Insurance Commitment. We check the records at the courthouse in the county in which the property is located to re-verify who currently owns the real estate. We determine whether there are any existing liens -- mortgages, judgment liens, mechanic's liens, or other encumbrances to title. We determine if there are any unique circumstances related to the property, such as the death or disability of an owner, a divorce, or a bankruptcy. We determine whether there are any unpaid real estate taxes, homeowner's dues and/or special assessments owed by the property owners. We determine whether there are easements, restrictive covenants, or other rights reserved by other people. Ultimately, we issue a title insurance commitment which provides specific instructions for our closers, telling them what needs to be obtained, signed or recorded as part of the closing. We also provide a list of items which will continue in place after the closing, such as easements or restrictive covenants. Jean Sandberg is our chief researcher and examiner for properties located in Wisconsin. Phil Hastings is our chief researcher and examiner for Minnesota properties.
3. We prepare for the Closing. We schedule the time, place, and location of the closing with the buyer, seller, lender, real estate agents. We obtain mortgage payoff statements. We prepare all the documents and we work closely with the buyer or borrower's lender to make sure everything is ready. Jen Rivard-Hackett prepares all Wisconsin files for closing. Mary Foss prepares all Minnesota files for closing.
4. We conduct the Closing. All of our work culminates with the signing of papers at a closing. We carefully and thoroughly review all of the charges with the buyers and sellers. We review and notarize signatures on documents. We issue checks to payoff any existing liens and to pay all of the closing costs. We return the loan package to the lender. We record the deed, mortgage, and any other documents at the courthouse. We provide copies of documents to the buyer/borrowers, the sellers, and the realtors. Susan Lee, Jean Sandberg, Lisa Lewis, and Jim Casterton close transactions related to property in Wisconsin. Lisa Lewis, Lori Helms, Kerri Johnson, and Jim Casterton close transactions related to property in Minnesota.
5. We Issue Title Insurance Policies. After documents are returned from the courthouse, we send the original deed to the new owner along with an Owner's Policy and we send the mortgage to the lender along with a Lender's Policy.