Owner’s Title Insurance Protects You and Your Future Generations

One of the smartest and easiest decisions you will make as a homebuyer is to get an owner’s title insurance policy. For a low, one-time fee, your property rights are protected for as long as you or your heirs own your home. How does owner’s title insurance protect you and your heirs?

When you close with Alliance Title, our title professionals examine the public records to help with the transition of the home from the seller to you during the closing process. If a problem is discovered, Alliance Title works to resolve it before you purchase the home. Some examples of problems with title include liens against the property, easements, building or use restrictions, and claims. Should an unforeseen issue arises that threatens your ownership rights after you have purchased your home, an owner’s title insurance policy will typically defend you and your heirs legally and financially.

For more information, contact a local Alliance Title professional or visit www.alliancetitle.com.

Employee Spotlight – Dennise Davidson

Dennise Davidson – Escrow Officer, Nampa, ID

Escrow Officer Dennise Davidson has worked in the title and escrow industry for 18 years; 9 of which have been at Alliance Title. Based out of our Nampa, Idaho branch, Dennise provides residential closing services for the Treasure Valley. As an escrow officer, her responsibilities include preparing documents, closing statements, and escrow instructions as well as presenting the documents to the buyers and sellers at closing. Dennise coordinates closing times, recordings and disbursement of funds. Every day she works hard at developing and maintaining strong customer relationships through professional, consistent customer service and communication.

What Dennise enjoys the most about her work is helping to make the American Dream come true for her clients. She explained, “Buying or selling a home is one of the largest financial decisions or clients will make in their lifetime. I want to help make the closing process as smooth and stress free as I can by delivering experience and knowledgeable customer care and communication through all phases of the closing process.”

While Dennise appreciates all of Alliance Title’s core values, her favorite one is service. She said, “I’m very customer-oriented. It is my goal to provide both my external and internal customers with the highest level of customer care, consideration and professionalism. My priority is to make the closing experience as smooth and efficient as possible for all parties involved in the transaction.”

When asked who she admires the most, Dennise said, “My mother for her tremendous courage raising two daughters on her own, for her fierce independence, for her strength to always stand up for what is right, and for her unconditional love and compassion to all who have the privilege of knowing her. My mother finds joy and happiness in the simple things life has to offer; I admire her generous nature and kindhearted spirit.”

Outside of the office, Dennise enjoys camping, fishing and spending time with her family every chance she gets. She also likes reading, traveling and wine tasting.

“Work smarter, not harder.” is Dennise’s favorite quote because she believes in taking the time to do things right the first time.

What is Escrow?

When escrow involves real estate, it refers to funds and documents that are held by an impartial third party, such as Alliance Title, on behalf of the buyer and seller and/or lender during the course of the transaction. The funds are distributed and documents are recorded only in accordance with the written instructions received from the parties.

People buying and selling real estate open an escrow for their protection and convenience. All parties rely on the escrow holder to faithfully carry out their mutually agreed upon instructions relating to the transaction, or to advise them if any of the instructions are contradictory or cannot be completed.

Once all terms and conditions of the written instructions have been fulfilled, and all closing conditions are satisfied, the escrow is closed and the transfer of property and money is completed.

How Does Escrow Benefit the Seller?

The seller is assured that the transaction will properly and promptly close. All liens will be paid and the title will not pass to the buyer until the purchase price is fully paid or the seller’s provision as to security for unpaid balances is fulfilled.

How Does Escrow Benefit the Buyer?

The buyer is assured that he or she may review the condition of the title to property by receiving a copy of the preliminary title report/title commitment prior to closing; that the transaction will be properly completed and the title will be cleared for the delivery of the loan proceeds or security documents.

Escalation Seen in Hacking Attempts on Real Estate Agents and Homebuyers

The Traverse City Business News (TCBN) reported that hacking attempts on real estate agents and homebuyers to commit wire fraud have been escalating in recent months. Citing statistics from the FBI, TCBN said that $3.1 billion in wire transfers from a variety of industries were attempted to be stolen by hackers between 2013 and 2016. In the real estate industry, the problem has become so prevalent that both big and small real estate companies alike are major targets of these wire fraud schemes, and industry experts do not see this problem improving in the coming year.

As real estate professionals, our best line of defense from these hack attacks is to understand how they happen and then teach our customers how to protect themselves. Read TCBN’s article to learn about email hacking schemes designed to commit wire fraud and what other real estate professionals are doing to protect themselves and their customers at http://bit.ly/2kWk8WR.

Guiding Your Clients Home

Do you have questions or need resources to help explain the title and escrow process? Do you wish there was an easy way to prepare your clients with information? Ask Alliance Title about available materials to help guide you and your clients to a successful transaction.

Client Resource Guide:  You are the trusted advisor to your clients and with that in mind, this brief guide was made for you. Peruse the pages to be up-to-speed on title, escrow, tax prorations and more.

Buyer-Seller Guide: Most of your clients don’t buy and sell homes every day. Share this handy booklet on our website with your clients to help them understand the closing process.

Visit www.alliancetitle.com or request a copy of these great resources from your local Alliance Title office.

VIDEO: Wire Fraud Alert Notification from the National Association of Realtors

Over the past 20 years, technology has changed the way we purchase a home, from the way we search for a house to the way we acquire the necessary funding for a purchase. Nevertheless, technology has resulted in a devious side where email and banking fraud are current issues in our society.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a video on YouTube warning homebuyers about the latest wire fraud scam. The scam entails criminals hacking into email accounts to steal information to trick homebuyers into fraudulent wire transfers.

Alliance Title takes internet security very seriously. The emails our escrow officers and escrow assistants send to our clients and customers contain a disclaimer that states we require email recipients to call their Alliance Title escrow officer to verify wire transfer instructions verbally prior to wiring funds. This measure, as well as the additional policies and procedures that Alliance Title has in place, assures that the bank account and other financial information we are entrusted with receives the highest level of protection. To learn more about the steps Alliance Title takes to safeguard every transaction we handle, please visit http://bit.ly/1qrvznt.

This blog was originally posted on May 17, 2016.

Adapting Your Communication Approach to Connect with Potential Homebuyers

Great communication skills are essential to being an effective real estate professional. Having the ability to speak, write, and listen well helps us to meet our clients’ needs and facilitate smooth transactions. Equally important though is understanding how our clients prefer to interact with us.

Loantek® shared the findings of 3 polls that address the communication channels different generations like to use. In particular, they focused on the millennial generation’s preferences. While one of the polls they cited showed that Americans under the age of 50 preferred to communicate through text messages, two-thirds of millennials between the ages of 18 and 29 heavily use text messaging as well as email, cellphones and social media to communicate.

Based on the information provided by the polls, Loantek® contends that real estate professionals should adapt their approaches to connect with these potential homebuyers. Read their full article at http://bit.ly/2jxF1mS.

Reductions to FHA Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums Suspended

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a statement announcing that the planned annual FHA mortgage insurance premium reduction for home loans closed on or after January 27th will be suspended indefinitely. The suspension was ordered by President Donald Trump and is effective immediately.

HUD’s statement seemed to support the executive order, saying, “[M]ore analysis and research are deemed necessary to assess future adjustments while also considering potential market conditions in an ever-changing global economy that could impact our efforts.” Read HUD’s Mortgagee Letter 2017-07 at http://bit.ly/2j1dEp4.

Employee Spotlight – Jill Nash

Jill Nash – Escrow Officer, Emmett, Idaho

Jill Nash works as an escrow officer at the Alliance Title’s Emmett, Idaho office. She is responsible for processing and closing real estate transactions as well as assisting in other customer service-oriented duties that are required in a small office. Jill is approaching her ten year anniversary in April of 2017.

What she likes the most about her job is sitting down at the closing table with people and hearing about their goals and aspirations. She said, “We get to be involved in a part of the teaching process so our customers can continue to be successful and prosperous.”

Jill’s favorite Alliance Title core value is teamwork because she said, “When we work together, we can accomplish great things.”

The person Jill admires the most is her mother who has taken her personal life ups and downs with grace and humility. Jill’s mom taught her to never give up, the ability to laugh at herself, and to focus on what is most important in life.

Outside of work, Jill enjoys her time with her family. She has been married for 30 years, and has recently become an empty nester; making the time she spends with her two boys even more precious than ever. Jill’s interests include singing in a band, arts and crafts, biking and walking her dog.

“A job worth doing is worth doing well” is Jill’s favorite saying. She explained, “Take pride in what you do and appreciate a job well done, no matter how big or small.”

Did you know that 95%* of our customers would recommend Alliance Title to a friend, colleague or real estate professional?

Here is what else our customers are saying…

We were treated so wonderful and fair. – C. H.

Thanks for all the help! I appreciate you guys. – Blair H. & Ann M.

Quick, easy and straightforward closing of my home sale. Thanks. – William H.

We live in Washington, and we had an easy transfer with everything! – Gregory & Peggy M.

Your services are very good and complete. – Joseph G.

Because of “the system,” closings are always finicky in that the lender, builder and escrow company all have to coordinate, and by definition it usually is fairly complex with lots of balls in the air (having had quite a few over the year). But, this one went extremely well without any last minute hitches. Excellent experience. – Barry M.

Excellent service and professionalism from start to finish. – Devin M.

*Based on customer satisfaction survey responses.