Navigating a commercial real estate (CRE) title transaction can be challenging. But there are ways you can streamline the process and help keep the deal on track and on deadline. Start with these four simple tips:
- Make a plan and stick to it (as much as possible).
First, define your goal. Second, put together the team that will help you get there – title agents, loan officers, developers, etc. Strategize with them to establish a timeline which includes key deadlines (e.g. financing, title search, due diligence and closing). This will help everyone stay on track and avoid being blindsided by unforeseen developments.
- Do your due diligence.
In addition to any defects in the chain of title (for example, a clerical or filing error in a public record), there are several property factors that can also impact the status of a title and title insurance. As you execute your due diligence, consider these items:
- Legal description of the property
- The most recent ALTA survey
- Existing title insurance policies
- Zoning Compliance Certificate
- Declaration of covenants, conditions, restrictions, reservations and easements
- Environmental reports
- Tax and utility bills
- A list of all permits, service contracts, lease/rental agreements, code violations, special assessments and warranties
- Any other information concerning the property and its status of title
- Be ready to pivot.
You may experience bumps along the way, but forward thinking can minimize the impact. Start by partnering with a title company that works with multiple underwriters and can write titles nationwide. Why? If your requirements aren’t a match for one underwriter’s offerings, the title company can easily connect you with another. Your title agent may be able to advise which underwriter is best for your transaction by providing a specialized client-focused approach to title issues.
- Stay in the loop.
While you can’t plan for every twist and turn in a CRE title transaction, keeping organized, remaining in contact and staying flexible can help you streamline the process. A title insurance agent who’s seasoned in CRE, like the professionals at Amrock Commercial, can help you navigate title and underwriter issues with a single-point of contact for each client. Contact us before your next deal, and we’ll work together to develop an effective plan to facilitate processing your commercial property transaction and guiding it to a successful close.
Suzette Switzer Hinds is a Commercial Counsel and Escrow Officer for Amrock, Inc. During her 25-year career in the real estate industry, she has worked as an attorney, underwriting counsel and commercial escrow officer. Suzette earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Methodist University and her law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Junior League of Dallas. She also serves as an alliance board member for Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support.