Friday, December 07, 2007

Did you know that your Realtor or mortgage lender probably thinks you are clueless doormat and a total dolt?

I have been arguing for over a year that consumers CAN READ AND THINK and if you just give them a place with information available THEY CAN MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS concerning what services they want for closing and title insurance. IT'S YOUR MONEY.

I believe shopping for title insurance and closing services is no more hard than shopping for a Realtor or mortgage lender or a washing machine. Heck, buying a car is more expensive and more complicated than picking a title insurer and closing service. If the info is there, you can decide.

Realtors and mortgage lender seem to think that they should do the shopping for you.

This means that they can play the referral fee game or the favor game but what it doesn't necessarily mean is that you will get quality service at a fair price.


Would you help me and comment here on the subject? You can be anonymous but I AM interested in your opinion.


New Guy said...

I agree. I am merely a consumer; however, when I went looking for a title insurer I couldn't find anyone that set themselves apart. When I spoke to my friends they couldn't recommend one. In fact, most of my friends didn't even remember who they used when they bought there home. It seemed to me very strange.

I couldn't find any reason to choose one insurer over another. It was very disheartening... here I was making the biggest purchase of my life, looking for an insurer (heh, something could go wrong) and was basically, picking one out of a hat. Some friends said "what is the difference, they are all the same prce", some said "it was just a formality and that nothing ever goes wrong".

Well, I lucked out and nothing went wrong.

I think part of the reason that many buyers don't seem to care is (1) the price is basicaly the same from one insurer to another (right??, at least in PA), (2) buyers usually only buy one or two properties in there lifetime so they don't have the same expertise or interest, and (3) the people the buyers trust and have been using throughout their home buying process (such as, realtors) devalue the process of choosing a title insurer.

I am very new to this industry and only became interested after I came across a title problem with a property I had planned on purchasing. So, please take everything I say with that understanding.

Diane Cipa, The Closing Specialists® said...

Hey, New Guy. Thanks for commenting. You are a perfect example as to why title agents should be marketing to consumers. Yes, in PA we have regulated rates, but not all title agents follow the discount rules and we have optional additional fees.

I see HUD-1s with overcharges and optional fees which drive the cost up $200 or more from what a consumer would pay using my agency.

Add to that the differences in search quality, post closing services, and convenience and friendliness, etc. and you have enough of a difference to consider shopping worth the effort.

Diane Cipa, The Closing Specialists® said...

I just received a phone call from a Realtor who was offended by this post. I do apologize and hope that everyone who reads it understands that not every Realtor thinks their customers are clueless or dolts.

I came up with the idea and title for this post after taking part in a long thread on Active Rain on the subject of title agents reaching out to consumers. Clueless was the one word used over and over again by Realtors to describe their buyers and so, hence the title to this post.

Diane Cipa, The Closing Specialists® said...

PS - Some of my best friends are Realtors and mortgage lenders. I am married to a mortgage lender. I WAS a Realtor and a mortgage lender. My mother recently retired her license and my sister and uncle were both Realtors. So, please understand that when I am saying these things I am doing so from within the community. I do most definitely understand that there are good and bad in every industry. The purpose of this blog is to assist consumers who need to understand title insurance and maybe need to understand that title insurance isn't rocket science.

Ed Rybczynski said...

More truthful words have yet to be written. Consumers are ready for a formal introduction to the title community. It's the title community that's frightened to step forth from the shadows. It's shameful that adults have to live in fear of losing sources of business that are merely perceived as predictable.

Diane Cipa, The Closing Specialists® said...

Thanks, Ed. Harumph. ;)