Six Things to Consider When Choosing a Title Company for a Religious Real Estate Transaction
A good title company can be the difference between your ideal church location and your not-so-ideal second or third choice. Your real estate broker has found you the perfect property and your offer has been accepted. Now what? Choosing a title company is an important but often overlooked step. Your title company should have the true legal knowledge, technology, and staff to facilitate a smooth transaction and avoid future setbacks. Here are five key considerations:
1. Professional Recommendations – Your real estate broker deals with title companies for each and every transaction. Which firm do they recommend? Why? Agents typically have three to four potential companies for you to choose from. They know which firms consistently provide reliable and accurate results.
2. Specialty – Many title companies assist with residential transactions, not necessarily commercial real estate properties, let alone churches. Many of the metrics are the same, but the research and background information that a title company needs to seek out can vary from property to property. Find a firm that has experience with complex commercial real estate transactions to ensure a smooth closing.
3. Communication – Effective and thorough communication is the most important step to successful closings. Are you comfortable talking with the title company? You may not want to hear from your title company, but if issues arise you need a company that will be upfront, honest and timely. Open communication and professional response time is key.
4. Price – It is worth your time to get multiple quotes from potential title companies. Ask for their fee sheets and compare costs. In addition to trusting your broker and title agent, you need to go into the closing with as much knowledge as possible. Costs can add up quickly in complex transactions, do your homework and be aware of the potential fees.
5. Location – Although it is possible to complete a real estate transaction digitally, it is much easier and more common to sign legal documents in person. Pick a title company with an office that is central to your location or with an agent that is willing to travel.
6. Real Estate Transfer Taxes – Churches are exempt from real estate transfer taxes and many title companies are not aware of this item. In Michigan, a county assessment of .11 percent is levied on church sales. Although this may look as a tax (state transfer taxes are .75 percent), the county portion is viewed as an assessment and thus must be paid. Application of real estate taxes will vary from state to state, community to community.
How do you know if you made the right choice? If your title company worked diligently and quietly in the background, your decision was sound. Be sure to recommend the firm to others if they seemed invisible and your closing went smoothly.
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Bill Skubik of Religious Real Estate handled the sale of our church. He created and implemented a multi-faceted sales program for the property. We would use Religious Real Estate again if the need arouse.
In March of 2004, our church was able to move from renting to owning. Bill Skubik of Religious Real Estate was extremely helpful in the process.
Religious Real Estate was there for us throughout the entire process. The sale began in June 2004 with a closing in November 2004. We recommend Religious Real Estate for your real estate needs.
Religious Real Estate created a detailed marketing package for our property and implemented a thorough marketing program, contact the churches, charter schools and other charitable organizations. Religious Real Estate has done a competent job and we would recommend their services.
The marketing package for the property was highly professional, presenting all the positive points about the property. Without hesitation, I would recommend Religious Real Estate to any religious organization with a real estate need.
We enjoyed our time with Religious Real Estate and we have used them with two other properties since our land purchase.
We chose Religious Real Estate to market our property in Battle Creek after the buyer defaulted on the land contract. We are very pleased with Religious Real Estate’s efforts and would recommend them in the future.
The leadership of our church felt that we were treated fairly and honestly. We would recommend Religious Real Estate for any real estate needs your church may have in the future.
We relied on Religious Real Estate for their expertise and advice and found them exceptionally professional and greatly helpful. Needless to say, we are enjoying our new church home.
Bill Skubik receives my hearty recommendation as a church real estate representative. He did an excellent job of marketing our church property, always presenting himself in a very professional manner as well as being a skilled negotiator.