Thursday, October 29, 2009

Listing Agents: Ask for Seller's Title Policy at Listing

As a listing agent, you likely have a checklist of items to gather or pull from various sources, including basic information from the seller. Here's a thought which could save time and money later down the road: Ask the seller to produce her owner's title policy (if she has one) at time of listing.

Here are just a few reasons why this simple step could prove so valuable:

- If a prior-owner unreleased lien surfaces during the title search, you'll know exactly which title insurance company to contact, and they should expedite the clearing of the issue.

- The policy should disclose any matters that a prior survey or location drawing has revealed.

- The policy should disclose if the property is subject to ground rent.

- The buyers may be eligible for a "reissue rate" of title insurance premium. While benefitting the buyer, this cost savings can be an inducement thereby aiding the seller.

- Asking at time of listing rather than several days before settlement could be the difference between the seller having it available and it being packed away in a moving truck.

Some sellers won't be able to find it. In that case, a copy of the HUD-1 from their purchase can also be very helpful as it tells which title insurance company the policy was written on so a copy can be obtained directly from them.

Make sense?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

GBBR REALTOR® Fair Thursday: "Wii" Will Rock You!

Mid-Atlantic Settlement Services will be at the Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS® (GBBR) REALTOR® Fair this Thursday, and we hope to see you there!

Why should you stop by our booth (#63)? Besides getting to meet and talk with some of the most established and experienced settlement officers in the region, we will have Nintendo Wii set up for your playing pleasure. You can bowl, play tennis, box, or challenge our own guitar god Dan Coleman to a game of Guitar Hero.


When: Thursday, October 22nd
Where: Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Road, Baltimore, MD (We're at Booth 63)
How: Register with this link


Photo credit: Clemson

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tech Tips:

Have you thought about blogging, but are a little intimidated by the setup process? Not sure which platform to select? Maybe you just want a place to very quickly add photos while on the go? is a great place to start!

Here are some of the great benefits of using Posterous either as your first blog platform, or (if you're already blogging) another place to collect your thoughts, photos and videos in one place:

- To start, all you have to do is send an email to THAT'S IT!

- Easily add text posts by emailing your blog posts to

- Easily add photos via email.

- Take videos with your Blackberry, iPhone (or other smartphone) and send straight to Posterous for easy processing and posting.

- Link to your Twitter or Facebook account.

- Very quickly host "discussions" where you can post a question and allow your readers to "discuss" the question via the comments.

Feel free to check out my Posterous account if you want to see how I use it. I keep it light (for the most part) and typically post photos. I have it linked to my Twitter account so each time I post to Posterous, a "tweet" gets sent out notifying my Twitter followers of the new post.

Call or email if I can help you set up your Posterous account today!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We will be OPEN for business on November 27th!

We are proud to announce that we will remain OPEN on Friday, November 27th (the day after Thanksgiving) to help you get your clients into their dream homes before the expiration of the $8,000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit on November 30th, 2009.

As we discussed in this post, now is the time to start planning for the second half of November when getting contracts ratified. Even if the tax credit DOES get extended, we are expecting some unusually high transaction volumes during a traditionally slow period around the Thanksgiving holiday. You need to talk to your lenders and title companies to see who is open and who is not, and plan accordingly!

Please call your MASettlement TSR with any questions or concerns, or (of course!) to schedule a closing. You can also contact me at Derek[dot]Massey[at]MASettlement[dot]com.
Photo licensed under Creative Commons by Monica's Dad on Flickr:

Friday, October 2, 2009

October Events

We have a busy month ahead. Here are just a few of the things we've got on tap in October:

Week of October 5th

10/8 (8AM - 4PM): Real Estate BarCamp: Lynchburg - We will be sponsoring and attending this "un-conference" in historic Lynchburg, VA where a lucky attendee will win an Amazon Kindle e-reader (courtesy of Mid-Atlantic Settlement Services).

10/8 (10:30AM - 1:30PM): Short Sale Strategies Class in Crofton, MD. Providing 3 MD continuing education credits.

Week of October 12th

10/12 (3PM - 4:30PM): "To Tweet or Not to Tweet" Webinar hosted by Derek Massey. Details to follow, but this will be an interactive webinar where Mid-Atlantic Settlement Services President Derek Massey will discuss Twitter, how to use it, how not to use it, and offer some strategies for meeting and staying connected with new people.

10/13 (7:30AM - 6PM): Northern Virginia Association of REALTORs (NVAR) Convention and Trade Show. Several Mid-Atlantic Settlement Services team players will be in attendance to meet and network with Northern Virginia real estate professionals and learn what's new.

10/15 (10AM - 1PM): Title Insurance Class in Westminster, MD. Providing 3 MD continuing education credits.

Week of October 19th

10/22 (7AM - 7PM): Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS (GBBR) REALTOR Fair. We will be exhibiting at this, GBBR's biggest networking event of the year. Stop by the booth, say hello, and get your Nintendo Wii fix!

10/22 (10:30AM - 1PM): Contracts to Closing Class in Crofton, MD. Providing 2.5 MD continuing education credits.

10/22 (12PM - 1PM): Short Sale Update Lunch and Learn in Leesburg, VA.

Week of October 26th

10/27 (9AM - 4PM): Real Estate BarCamp: DC. We will be attending and sponsoring this "un-conference" which will be taking place in Herndon, VA at the NVAR building.

10/29 (10AM - 12PM): Contract Review Class in Westminster, MD. Providing 2 MD continuing education credits.

If you have any questions or want additional information on any of these events, shoot us an email at infoMASettlementcom or comment below.