Written by Charity Malmberg of Trademark Title, Originally Published in Twin Cities Real Producers Magazine

In our most recent article, I wrote about how to build up cross-country networks for those clients who may be looking for second homes, vacation homes or rental properties. While this is important, it’s also just as important to be sure your local partners are the right fit for you and your clients. 

One such partner that may be overlooked is the title company. Your clients will often look to you when choosing a title company, so it’s important you’ve put in the effort to be sure your suggestions are the local best in the business.

To ensure you’re working with the company dedicated to taking care of your clients, take a look at these five tips. 

Look for local 

Sure, lead generation programs might be the easy way out when it comes to finding connections to the companies your client needs, but is it really the best for your client? When you partner with local title companies, you have the opportunity to meet with and vet the people who will fill in the gaps and make the final transaction possible. Check online reviews and talk to past clients to be sure you’re partnering with a company doing right by those they work for. 

Stay in line with legislature 

RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) has been around for a long time, but it is always worth a revisit. It was enacted way back in 1975 with the goal of bringing transparency to homebuyers and sellers, as well as reducing kickbacks and unearned fees. When working with title companies and broker-lenders, be sure there are no lines being crossed and nothing that remotely resembles paying for a lead or file. 

Remember the MN State Statute 

This states that buyers have a right to choose their title company. While you’ll most likely be suggesting a title company for your client, it’s important that you communicate this statute is in place, as most buyers will not know. 

Care about credentials 

While anyone can make up a badge and put it on their website, there are some legitimate credentials to seek out when looking for title companies. One is to ensure the company is “best practices certified” by the American Land Title Association. Another thing to look for is if they belong to the Better Business Bureau. 

Review the fees 

Finally, when acting as a fiduciary for your client, be sure to take the time to review all fees (not just the closing fee) set by a title company. Ask questions and be sure all fees are for a purpose.