3 Times to Call Your Closer

 

There are certain situations and circumstances during the process of a real estate transaction that it is imperative that you contact your title company closer.

1st: Upon receipt of your title insurance commitment

The first time it’s important to contact your closer is upon receipt of your title insurance commitment. The commitment should be examined very carefully to verify correct spelling of buyer and seller and lender names, correct sales price and loan amount, correct marital status, correct property address and legal description and to review requirements for closing and exceptions to coverage. If any discrepancies are identified please CALL YOUR CLOSER.  If you have questions about the requirements or any of the exceptions please CALL YOUR CLOSER. The earlier in the process we can begin to address any issues the more likely it will not affect your scheduled closing date.

 

2nd: If there are any changes in contract terms, marital status or other major terms.

The second time in the process that it becomes important to contact your closer, is if there are any changes in contract terms, marital status or if you become aware of some piece of information which may affect closing. Please CALL YOUR CLOSER if any of these things change prior to closing. The sooner we know of any changes the smoother your closing will be on the day of closing.

 

3rd: Prior to wiring of closing funds

The Third and maybe most important time to contact your title company is prior to wiring of closing funds. Email spoofing and scams and wire fraud are currently at an all-time high. Cyber criminals are very adept and sophisticated at intercepting communication and sending fraudulent emails with falsified wiring instructions. These emails appear to be legitimate and may easily fool any unsuspecting parties. Before wiring any closing funds, it is absolutely critical that you CALL YOUR CLOSER to confirm that the wiring instructions you received were accurate and legitimate. This phone call will help protect your funds from disappearing forever.

 

Please feel free to contact any of our closers with any questions or concerns. We’re here to help ensure a smooth and successful closing process.

KC-area homebuilders continue to pick up single-family pace

Builders in the eight-county Kansas City area pulled 2,059 single-family building permits during the first four months of 2017 — a pace not matched since before the recession.

According to the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City, it was the highest year-to-date total though April since 2007, when 2,339 single-family permits were issued during the first four months of the year.

During the month of April alone, 562 single-family permits were issued — well below the 899 issued in April 2006 and the 687 issued in April 2007. But it was more than three times the number of permits issued in April 2009 — the worst April since the recession — when the monthly housing start total dipped to 184.

Multifamily construction in the metro, meanwhile, has slowed considerably this year, with 465 units permitted through April. That compares with an average of 1,196 units in the January-through-April periods of the four previous years.

The Missouri counties of Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte all recorded single-family permit increases through April this year, with Cass County seeing the biggest gain. Its 237 permits represented a 96 percent increase over the 121 permits it issued between January and April last year.

On the Kansas side, meanwhile, Johnson County reported a 6 percent decrease — to 551 through April this year from 588 in the year-ago period. Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties all issued more permits through April than in the prior year.

Jurisdictions that have experienced notable increases this year are Peculiar (up from zero to 48), Lee’s Summit (up from 101 to 201), unincorporated Platte County (up from 42 to 79) and Kansas City, Kan./Wyandotte County (increasing to 187 from 79).

Rob Roberts, Kansas City Business Journal

Coffelt’s Corner: Why Do You Ask?

A couple of weeks or so ago, as we were getting ready for church, I was brushing my teeth and Linda was dressing. She came out of the closet, stood beside me facing the mirror and asked, “How does this look on me?”

Now, which of the following thoughts do you think ran instantly through my mind?:  a) I’m glad I’m busily brushing my teeth and cannot immediately answer; b) I could just say it looks great; c) You’re beautiful no matter what you wear is always the right answer; or d) all of the above.

If you guessed d)—you are correct! However, before I could rinse off my toothbrush, she had already returned to the closet to change. One more opportunity to say the wrong thing averted!

She returned a few minutes later in the replacement outfit, looking as beautiful as I had expected. Naturally, I wasn’t content to let it stop there. Oh no, I had to ask—“Why did you even bother asking me what I thought if you were going to change anyway?”  One would think that after 40 years or so, a man would instinctively know when not to speak. Not this man. I really was not going to help my cause any by speaking further.

I’ve been giving the whole concept of asking questions for which no reply is really expected a great deal of thought. How many times do we hear the query, “How are you?” or “How are you doing?” or “How’s it going?” Have you ever asked someone something like that only to receive a very long, detailed narrative on the entire family’s various health conditions?

Have you ever dreaded asking someone how it’s going because you fear that you might just find out? Just exactly what makes us ask these questions for which we really don’t expect an answer?

My favorite answer to the how are you question belongs to Dave Ramsey. He always replies, “Better than I deserve.” I like that answer and when I do use it, a lot of people remark that it’s the one that Mr. Ramsey uses.

I also like to say, “Just as obnoxious as ever!” There’s a lot of truth in that one, as I can be very overbearing and obnoxious. And if the party asking doesn’t think I am, then it comes across as somewhat humorous and a little humor always helps. But my favorite response is, “It is well with my soul.”

But what about the asking part? I honestly try to avoid the generalized questions. I will only ask as to someone’s well being if and only if I am sincerely interested in hearing the response. Therefore, I do not use those questions casually, but only for those people about whom I really care.

I like to think of it this way—if a stranger was to ask about your health, none of us are inclined to share that very confidential information. Likewise we don’t normally ask inquisitive questions of people we do not know. So, if I ask about someone’s well being, I should be prepared to receive an answer with the appropriate amount of detail.

The trick in all this is trying to determine if someone is trying to start a conversation or if they are only using the question as a casual greeting, expecting a short one or two word reply. Frankly, I think that most of the time, it’s the latter. All they expect is an “Okay” or “It’s good” or something along that line.

But if I ask you how you’re doing, I sincerely wish that it is well with your soul, and I really do expect an answer!

Coffelt’s Corner: No News is Good News

Early in our married life, Linda and I would go to the mailbox together each evening. Often there would be nothing there. You see, in those early years we didn’t receive much mail, and most of what we did receive consisted of bills. We’d open the mailbox door, peer inside and say together, “No news is good news!” I have no idea as to the origin of that phrase, but it’s always stuck with us and we generally smile when we hear it repeated today.

As a youngster growing up in rural Northwest Missouri, our choices of television viewing consisted of black and white and two channels, maybe three on a clear day. One of the things that I did NOT want to watch was the news. What was the fun in watching people just sitting there talking?

Fortunately, I didn’t have to suffer through much of it, as the news in those days only lasted a total of 30 minutes. That’s 15 minutes of local news, followed by 15 minutes of national and international news. During all of that time, I was very much in awe of Walter Cronkite, as he seemed to know an awful lot about everything in the world.

Could you image the world today without news? With the myriad of news outlets in print, on the air and over the internet, what would it be like if there simply wasn’t anything to report? No bombings, no plane crashes, no invasions, no political statements, nothing.

Reportedly, it has actually happened. On April 18, 1930, the BBC radio announcer was to give the 6:30 p.m. news. Apparently, the editorial staff had decided that there was nothing newsworthy to report.  He announced “Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news.” The brief announcement was followed by piano music for a few minutes, and then back to the regularly scheduled programs.

I remember a similar day back in 1972. I cannot remember the exact day, but I do recall the radio announcer saying that it was a very slow news day. There was a report later that day of a submarine, I think it was a Soviet vessel, in distress, but I don’t know the exact circumstances. My search of the internet for facts on that event was fruitless.

However, the face of news, as we now know it, changed forever in my view within just a few short days. There were lots of newsworthy events to report in 1972. We were still engaged in a very unpopular war in Vietnam, Skylab was launched and in orbit, none of us alive will ever forget the tragedy of that year’s Summer Olympics, and there was a presidential election.

History has pretty much forgotten George McGovern, but the one little news item that gained the most attention was the arrest of five men for breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel. After that day, the American public was supplied with a flurry of news as to speculation, inquiries, Congressional hearings and eventually the first and only resignation of a United States President.

Yes, I think that’s the day that news reporting changed. We have become a society that MUST know within a nanosecond of any newsworthy event. We are obsessed with news and feel as though we must have round-the-clock access. And we do.

Can you imagine a day without news? I can. After all, no news is good news.

Coffelt’s Corner: A Wish For Joy

I trust that each of you had the opportunity for a time of celebration with friends and family during the Christmas and New Year holidays. The changing of the year from one to the next comes rather quietly at the Coffelt house. We usually manage to stay up until midnight, celebrate the beginning of a new year with a kiss and then slip off to bed to finish the nap that one or the other of us may have started on the couch.

Christmas was celebrated at our house with all the kids, their spouses and all the grandkids together at the same place at the same time. Lots of noise, lots of excitement and lots of fun, it was especially fun for Grandpa.

For a period of about two to three weeks, how many times did we wish someone either a “Merry Christmas” or a “Happy New Year” or both? (Have you noticed that we never wish a happy Christmas or a merry New Year, why is that?)

Either way, we are for a brief time during the year wishing happiness upon family, friends and complete strangers. Now, I have heard folks wishing a safe or prosperous upcoming year, but mostly, wish happiness upon others. While this is indeed a good thing, it has made me wonder a bit about happiness in general.

I recently asked these questions of an unsuspecting family member, “At what point in your life do you remember being truly happy? When were you ever the happiest?” Those are tougher questions to answer than I realized.

We are all in one way or another engaged in the pursuit of happiness. After all, we feel that it is our God-given right. Right? It doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor, tall or short, male or female, each of us feels a need for happiness.

Movie makers truly understand that people want to experience a variety of emotions while watching a film. I experienced just that last Saturday evening. Within a brief period of just under two hours, I was happy, then extremely sad, then happy again. And I didn’t have to do anything but watch the screen!

You see, happiness is simply an emotion. It is fleeting; it can come and go quickly. Joy, however is a state of mind or a state of being. Those who experience joy in their lives have the ability to share that joy in times of happiness and in times of sadness.

I’m certain you know people who have joy filled lives. Regardless of what is going on around them, they are the kind of people you want to be in the presence of.

That’s not to say that joy filled life will always be easy and that there will be no sorry. That’s just not the way it is. Anyone with a joy filled life can experience sadness, but still have the underlying hope and knowledge that sadness will pass and peace will once again reign.

That reminds me of the song “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. One of our granddaughters has learned to sing it, and was more than happy to share it with us last week. As the words to that little song show us, how uplifting it is to be able to look forward to tomorrow, after all, it’s only a day away.

For each of you, I wish more than happiness this next year. I wish for you a life of joy, days filled with knowing that there is always something better coming.

CPL Procedures Change Beginning August 28

Senate Bill 833 was signed by Governor Nixon and takes effect August 28, 2016. The bill requires that a CPL must be issued on all residential transactions where a policy of title insurance is issued and a title agent, agency, or underwriter is handling any funds or documents on behalf of a consumer or lender. The notice of unprotected closing can only be used when the agent, agency, or underwriter is performing escrow functions and a policy of title insurance is not being issued. In many cases, the seller has been signing a notice of unprotected closing at the closing table and waiving a CPL, this is no longer permitted in Missouri.

The new language is as follows:

It is unlawful for any title insurer, title agency, or title agent to engage in the handling of an escrow, settlement or closing of a residential real estate transaction unless the escrow handling, settlement or closing is conducted or performed in contemplation of and in conjunction with the issuance of a title insurance policy and a closing protection letter, or if a title insurance policy is not being issued by the title insurer, title agency, or title agent, prior to the receipt of any funds, the title insurer, title agency, or title agent clearly discloses to the seller, buyer or lender involved in such escrow, settlement or closing, that no title insurer is providing any protection for closing or settlement funds received by the title agency or agent.

“Escrow”, written instruments, money or other items deposited by one party with a depository, escrow agent, or escrowee for delivery to another party upon the performance of a specified condition or the happening of a certain event;

Any time a title agent accepts funds, documents, or any other item from a consumer or lender, a CPL is required to be issued if a policy of title insurance is also being issued.

Here are some examples:

1. A is buying B’s home with a loan from the Bank. The buyer is purchasing a title insurance policy and the lender is receiving a loan policy. CPL’s must be issued to A, B and the Bank. No waiver of the CPL is allowed on any party.

2. A is buying B’s home and is paying cash. A declines an owner’s policy. No CPL may be issued and a Notice of Unprotected Closing must be provided to all parties.

3. A is refinancing their home with the Bank. The Bank is performing all disbursing, recording and only orders a loan policy from the title agent. No CPL will be issued and no Notice of Unprotected Closing is required.

4. A is refinancing their home with the Bank. The Bank orders a loan policy from the title agent. The Bank has the title agent record the documents and gives them funds to pay for the recording. A CPL must be issued to the bank.

5. A is buying B’s home with a loan from the Bank. A is closing with ABC Title who is issuing both the owner and lender policy. B is closing with XYZ Title. They do not share a common underwriter. A and the Bank would get a CPL from A’s underwriter. B would receive a Notice of Unprotected Closing since XYZ title company would be unable to issue a CPL on the transaction, since they are not issuing a policy. If the seller wants a CPL, then the insuring title company will have to disburse all funds and record all documents so that a CPL can be issued.  See link below for Dual CPL procedure.

Dual Agent CPL

If they shared a common underwriter and the transaction was issued on that underwriter, then all parties would get a CPL from ABC Title, with XYZ title listed as an additional covered company. We have included our procedures for issuing CPLs for split closings such as the above with this bulletin.

6. A is buying B’s home with a loan from the Bank. A is closing with ABC Title who is issuing the lender policy. B is closing with XYZ Title who is issuing the owners policy. A and the Bank would receive a CPL from ABC Title and B would receive a CPL from XYZ title.

This law affects all Missouri closings beginning August 28th, 2016. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Source: Agents National Title Insurance Company