FAQ with Elevated Settlements

Elevated Settlements, LLC

Tara M. Yutzy Collier

Website: elevatedsettlements.com

Email: office@elevatedsettlements.com

Phone Number: 301.722.2226

What exactly is title work and is it required when purchasing a home?

Title work is the examination of past deeds and courthouse records to ensure that all liens and all other items are taking care of when a property transfers from seller to buyer.  This is the only way to ensure that a buyer gets good and clear title.

Title work is required when using a lender. If you are paying cash, it is not required but HIGHLY recommended.

What are some common title issues you have run into in Western Maryland and nearby West Virginia?

Family transfers are a surprising reason for title issues, but not an uncommon one.  Family members often do not want a title examination, so any problems that existed carry forward through the new owners becoming more difficult as time passes.  This seems to be especially true in West Virginia, where title may transfer upon death in certain circumstances.

What is title insurance? Is it something I should spend the money on?

Title insurance provides homebuyers and lenders with vital protection against losses from certain title issues including forgery, fraud, and liens – problems that might limit a homeowner’s use and enjoyment of their property.

While owner’s title insurance is not required, we do recommend it.  If a covered issue would arise, then the title insurance clears the problem for the lender or homeowner, instead of them needing to pursue legal action individually.

What is a legal description? Is it accurate? When do I need to get a survey?

A legal description is what is used to describe the physical location of property, for instance the “metes and bounds” which map out the property lines. The description must be complete enough so that the land can be located and identified based on what is written.  Under most circumstances, a survey is not required for a sale or transfer.  However, if you have questions about the actual boundaries of the property, a survey is the only way to know these with a high degree of certainty.

What is non-resident withholding tax? Do I get this money back?

A non-resident withholding tax is charged to sellers of real estate who are not residents of that same state.  In our area, MD and WV have a non-resident withholding tax; PA does not.  Under certain limited circumstances, an exemption may be obtained.  You should discuss your tax situation with an accountant to ascertain how much of this tax you can reasonably expect to have returned to you upon tax filings.

I am in charge of selling a house owned by an estate. What documentation do I need? 

The first thing that you will need is your Letters of Administration for Personal Representative/Executor, showing that you have the authority to act for the estate.  Ultimately for closing, you will also need a death certificate for anyone on title, and perhaps certain other estate documents to ensure clear title.

What do my closing costs consist of? 

Your actual settlement fees will vary depending upon whether you are a buyer or seller and the state in which you are buying property.  Generally, closing costs or both parties include lender fees, settlement fee, title examination, document preparation, lenders (and/or) owner’s title insurance, recording fees, any transfer or recordation tax that is applicable, buyer/seller’s appropriate portion of real estate taxes, Realtor commission (for seller), Deed Preparation (for seller), etc.  Who pays what costs can be negotiated as a part of your contract.  You should be sure to discuss with your real estate agent what costs you will be expected to pay depending on how your contract is written.

What do I bring to closing? Do I need to find a copy of my deed?

Just yourself and a valid drivers license.

I am going to be out of town on the date of my closing. Can you conduct closings from afar?

We are able to accommodate remote closings.  Normally this consists of two different options.

  1. Receiving the documents via email and you print them out and sign in front of a notary and return with a prepaid Fedex label
  2. Receiving the documents via a Fedex label, signing in front of a notary and then returning via Fedex

What kind of documents should I expect to see during a closing?

Settlement statement showing all costs associated with the transaction, deed (which transfers ownership), Note (where a borrower promises to pay back a lender), Deed of Trust (or Mortgage, which allows a lender to foreclose in the event of default), various affidavits and lender forms.

After I sign the closing documents, is the house officially mine?



For more information on Elevated Settlements, check out their website!