As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the importance of love and security in unexpected places. While chocolates and roses may be the traditional symbols of this romantic day, we’re here to share an unconventional love story—one that involves the protection and security of your most valuable asset, your home! Join us as we explore the reasons why title insurance deserves your love and appreciation.

Shielding Against Hidden Risks

Title insurance plays a crucial role in safeguarding your homeownership dreams and one of the most compelling reasons to love title insurance is its ability to protect against hidden risks. A title search may uncover issues such as undisclosed liens, errors in public records, or even fraudulent claims to ownership. Without title insurance, you could find yourself facing significant financial losses or legal battles down the road.

Peace of Mind for Homebuyers

For homebuyers, title insurance offers invaluable peace of mind. Knowing that your investment is protected from unforeseen title defects allows you to proceed with confidence, free from the worry of potential ownership disputes or financial liabilities arising from past events.

Security for Lenders

Title insurance is not just beneficial for homebuyers – it also provides security for lenders. By ensuring that their investment is protected against title defects, lenders can offer more favorable financing terms and expedite the loan approval process, benefiting both buyers and sellers alike.

Coverage Beyond Closing

Unlike other forms of insurance that may expire over time, title insurance provides coverage for as long as you own your home. This means that even after the closing table has been cleared and the keys handed over, you can rest assured that your ownership rights are protected against any title issues that may arise in the future.

Resolving Title Issues Efficiently

In the event that a title issue does arise, title insurance can help resolve the issue quickly and efficiently. Rather than having to navigate complex legal proceedings or negotiate with multiple parties, your title insurer will work on your behalf to resolve the issue and protect your ownership rights.

This Valentine’s Day, as you celebrate the love that fills your home, take a moment to appreciate the security that title insurance brings to your story. From shielding against hidden risks to providing peace of mind for buyers and lenders alike, title insurance is the best gift you could give yourself and your new home! Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Centric Title and Escrow – where love and security converge in every title we protect!

This holiday season, it’s important that we all stay alert to the prevalence of wire fraud. For the past several years, wire fraud in real estate transactions has been one of the fastest growing cybercrimes. As we approach long weekends to celebrate the holidays, it is important we keep an eye out for fraudulent activities. Below are some ways you may be able to recognize an attempt at wire fraud:

If you happen to come across any of these various signs of fraud, there are several things you can do to protect yourself, your clients, and the transaction at hand. The following are our Centric Title experts’ recommendations:

By following these tips, you should be able to keep your transactions safe. Remember that cybersecurity is of the utmost importance to us — stay vigilant and don’t rush your transactions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact us; your Centric Title team is always here to help!

A good escrow officer is going to safeguard your interests and efficiently manage the intricate financial and legal aspects of your real estate transaction, which is why it is important to pick one you trust. Here are some factors to consider when you choose your next escrow officer:

Expertise

One of the first things to look for in an escrow officer is their experience and expertise in handling real estate transactions. An experienced escrow officer will have a thorough understanding of the intricacies of escrow and title processes, which is essential for avoiding complications and delays in your transaction. They should be familiar with the local market, regulations, and any common issues that may arise in your closing process.

Licensing & Credentials

Verify that your escrow officer is licensed and credentialed to operate in your state or area. Licensing requirements can vary, so it’s essential to ensure that the escrow officer complies with the regulations specific to your area. Licensed escrow officers are generally held to higher standards and adhere to industry best practices.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is vital in any real estate transaction. It’s important to choose an escrow officer who communicates well and responds promptly to your inquiries. Your escrow officer should be able to explain the closing process clearly and keep you updated throughout the transaction. They should also maintain open lines of communication with all parties involved in the transaction, including real estate agents, lenders, and attorneys, to ensure that everyone is on the same page throughout the process.

Technology and Efficiency

In today’s world, it’s important to consider an escrow officer that is knowledgeable about the latest tech to streamline and secure your escrow process. Efficient escrow officers can help expedite your transaction with the use of digital signatures, secure online document transfer, and online payment options. Centric Title’s use of the CTE Companion App is a great example of this!

Ultimately, selecting the right escrow officer is a critical decision in any real estate transaction. By expertise, licensing, communication skills, and technology usage, you can make an informed choice for your escrow process. We hire all of our escrow offers with these factors in mind, making our Centric Title team well-prepared to serve all your title and escrow needs. Our excellent escrow officers are ready to help you navigate the complexities of real estate transactions with confidence! Contact us today to get started.

Earlier this month, we were named by Albuquerque Business First as one of the Best Places to Work in New Mexico! We are so incredibly excited and honored to have made the list. We have believed from the start that creating the best place to work goes beyond little perks, and instead encompasses fostering a culture of respect, trust, collaboration, and real relationships where individuals are empowered to reach their full potential.

In an anonymous employee satisfaction survey, one of our employees said, “Centric is truly a family; I look forward to coming to work and genuinely feel appreciated at my job. I have nothing but GREAT things to say about our president and the culture she has thrived to build here. My worst day here has been better than some of my best days at other companies. Upper management actually comes in town, to our offices – and not to deliver bad news, but to let us know we are appreciated and they are there for us.” These sentiments were echoed throughout the survey responses, as another member of our team said, “Management and leadership truly care about the well-being of their employees. I fully trust decisions that are made by management to carry on the success of this company. As an employee, I am treated with respect by management and co-workers, which creates a high-moral and happy atmosphere which then is passed on to our clients and community with quality work. I highly recommend this place to anyone who enjoys being praised for their hard work.” Leadership here at CTE is dedicated to providing mentorship, guidance, and motivation to everyone in our offices. Taking care of people is the foundation of our continued success!

At the heart of our reception of the Best Place to Work award is our incredible team, whose dedication, passion, and experience have made us the organization we are today. Our employees show us every day just how amazing people can be when they show up in a place that values their voice and their experiences. As one of our employees put it, “This organization just allows me to be my most authentic self and to share and celebrate that in the workplace rather than to tone it down or adapt and code-switch into something and someone that I am not. It helps me have the drive and buy in to be a part of something bigger than myself.” Cultivating a sense of acceptance, community, and purpose in our employees’ professional journeys is just one of many things we do to make CTE a good place to be.

Last but not least, we had someone say, “Working for a company that has been built from the ground up has been amazing. From watching our coworkers pass their licensing exams and watching others dive right into the career with the support of not only management, but your coworkers around you really gives you a sense of support and family. This is a company I hope to retire from.” We truly cherish the relationships built here at Centric Title and extend our deepest gratitude to our team members for their outstanding contributions to our organization. Ultimately, this recognition is a testament to our unwavering commitment to creating a positive and supportive environment for our employees and we are so very proud to have been acknowledged as one of the best places to work in New Mexico!

When it comes to real estate transactions, there are two key players that often work behind the scenes: title companies and escrow officers. These professionals play essential roles in ensuring a smooth and secure transfer of property ownership. However, their specific responsibilities can sometimes be confusing or misunderstood. In this post, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of title companies and escrow officers, shedding light on the valuable services they provide and the significant role they play in the real estate process.

Understanding Title Companies

Title companies primarily conduct title searches and issue title insurance. They are the intermediaries in a real estate transaction, coordinating with everyone involved in the closing process. They ensure that all necessary documents are prepared and executed correctly, manage the disbursement of funds, and facilitate the smooth transfer of ownership. Title companies conduct comprehensive searches to examine the history of a property’s ownership. Then they review public records, deeds, mortgages, liens, and other relevant documents to ensure a clear and marketable title of a property. Through this process they can identify potential issues that must be resolved before the property can be transferred.

Once the property is transferred, it needs to be protected through title insurance. Title insurance protects both buyers and lenders from any unforeseen title defects or claims that may arise in the future. Title companies issue policies that protect against monetary loss due to title-related issues, giving peace of mind to all parties involved in the transaction.

Understanding Escrow Officers

Also, at work in the transfer of ownership of a home are escrow officers, who play a crucial role in managing the financial and contractual aspects of a real estate transaction. Escrow officers are typically responsible for holding funds and documents, complying with contractual obligations, and facilitating communication between buyers, sellers, lenders, and other parties involved in the transaction. They are the neutral third parties who hold and safeguard the funds and documents related to a real estate transaction. They ensure that all parties comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement before funds are released and ownership is transferred.

Both title companies and escrow officers are valuable parts of a successful real estate transaction. While some of their roles may overlap, each has distinct responsibilities that contribute to the smooth transfer of property ownership. Title companies ensure the property has a clear title and issue title insurance, while escrow officers manage the financial aspects and ensure contractual obligations are met. By understanding the roles and responsibilities of these professionals, buyers, sellers, and lenders can navigate the real estate process with confidence and ensure a good closing experience—which is exactly what we are here for! Contact us today or visit our website to get started with us here at Centric Title.

In our last piece, we talked broadly about the process of closing on a home and what that entails, however we realize that doesn’t necessarily cover every little detail. To cover every corner of closing knowledge, we have created a list of some commonly asked closing questions and their answers. This list is not exhaustive; if you have got additional questions, let us know!

What is included in the closing costs?

Closing costs typically include fees associated with the home-buying process, such as appraisal fees, title insurance, lender fees, and escrow fees. The exact costs can vary depending on the location of the property and the terms of the purchase agreement.

How much should I expect to pay in closing costs?

Closing costs can range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price of the home. However, the exact amount will depend on a variety of factors, including the location of the property, the type of loan you are using, and the specific terms of the purchase agreement.

How long does the closing process take?

The closing process can typically take between 30 and 90 days. However, the exact timeline can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the complexity of the transaction and any issues that may arise during the title search or rest of the closing process.

What documents will I need to bring to closing?

You will need to bring a government-issued ID, proof of homeowners insurance, and a cashier’s check or wire transfer for any remaining down payment and closing costs.

What happens at closing?

At closing, you will sign the necessary paperwork with us to complete the purchase of your home, including the mortgage documents and the deed to the property. You will also pay any remaining down payment and closing costs for your new home. Once everything is signed and paid for, the keys to your new home will be handed to you!

After you’ve found your dream home here in New Mexico, you’re going to want to protect it! Title insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects a property owner or lender against any financial loss that may occur as a result of defects in the title to the property. Title insurance is usually purchased near the end of the home-buying process and is meant to provide protection against any unforeseen issues that may arise with the title after the purchase. While there are far more than five reasons to purchase title insurance, we’ve got our top five listed below:

Protection

Title insurance provides coverage for any potential issues with the title to your property, such as liens, encumbrances, or competing claims. It can also provide coverage for title defects that were not known or could not have been discovered during the title search. This covers any fraudulent activity associated with the buying and selling of the property. Title insurance will help cover the costs of legal fees if you need to defend your title in court as well.

Peace of Mind

At Centric Title, we value your peace of mind. Knowing that you have title insurance can reduce a lot of the typical stress associated with purchasing a property and give you some much-needed peace of mind. With title insurance, you can be assured that you will be able to peacefully enjoy your property without any unexpected title issues.

Other Insurance Policies Can’t Compare

Regular homeowners’ insurance and warranties only protect the structure and belongings of your home, not the right to own the home. Getting owner’s title insurance ensures that your family’s property rights stay protected.

Affordable

Title insurance is a one-time cost that is relatively inexpensive compared to the overall cost of buying a property. Owner’s title insurance typically costs only about 0.5% of your home’s purchase price and, for how much money you are spending on your home, this is surely worth the buy.

Resale Value

Title insurance can increase the resale value of your property by providing potential buyers with the assurance that the property has a clear title. In addition to this, it protects a property when it’s being inherited.

If you’d like to learn more about acquiring owner’s title insurance, our team at Centric Title is here for you­­ — get in touch with us today! You can find your local office here. We hope to hear from you soon!

Springtime is here and the weather isn’t the only thing that’s heating up—the housing market is getting busy again as people prepare to make their summer moves! With this in mind, we figured it would be important to talk about what to expect when you close on a home. For many homebuyers, especially those buying for the first time, the closing process can be intimidating. You’ve finally found a home you love, the seller agreed to your offer and the last thing you would want is for anything to go wrong. This is where we’re here to help! As soon as the seller accepts your offer, then your closing will happen within the next 30 to 90 days.  

After you have partnered up with one of our experienced closing agents, they will ensure all the details of your closing come together nicely. If you are working with a real estate agent, they may place an order with a closing agent with your permission, as soon as your sales contract is accepted.

Most homebuyers rely on their real estate agent to select a closing agent—someone they work with regularly and know to be professional, reliable, and efficient. However, you can choose your own closing agent, if you’d like. Your closing agent will oversee the closing process and make sure everything happens in the right order and on time, without unnecessary delays or glitches, so make sure you’re choosing someone you trust. 

Purchase Agreement and Title Search  

After selecting a closing agent, a contract or purchase agreement is drafted, which the closing agent reviews for completeness and accuracy. The agent will also put your deposit into an escrow account, where the funds will remain until closing. Then a title search will be conducted on the property you want to buy. Your title company searches the public records, which will identify any issues with the title such as liens against the property, utility easements, and so on. If a problem is discovered, it is likely that your closing agent will take care of it without you even knowing about it. After the title search is complete, the title company can provide a title insurance policy. 

Title Insurance 

There are two kinds of title insurance coverage: a Lender’s policy, which covers the lender for the mortgage loan, and an Owner’s policy, which covers the homebuyer for the purchase price. If you are obtaining a loan, the bank or lender will typically require that you purchase a Lender’s policy. However, this policy only protects the lender, so it’s always recommended that you obtain an Owner’s policy to protect your investment. The party that pays for the Owner’s policy varies from state to state, so ask your agent for guidance before closing. 

Obtaining a Closing Disclosure  

Your lender must provide a Closing Disclosure to you at least three days prior to closing. If you or your lender make certain significant changes between the time the Closing Disclosure form is given to you and the closing, you must be provided with a new form and an additional three-business-day waiting period after receipt of the new form. If the changes are less significant, they can be shown on a revised Closing Disclosure form provided to you at or before closing, without delaying anything. 

The Finish Line: Closing 

As closing day approaches, your closing agent will order any updated information that may be required. Once they confirm with the lender and the seller, your closing agent sets a final date, time, and location of the closing. 

On closing day, all the behind-the-scenes work is complete. While you’ve been busy packing, ordering utilities and coordinating the movers, your closing agent has been managing the closing process so that you can rest assured, knowing all the paperwork is in order.  

Celebrate!  

All that’s left to do is celebrate closing on your new home — congrats! Get in touch with Centric Title today for your care-free closing by contacting us here. We are the experts you need and the partners you can trust!

With so many technological innovations in the title industry, we know it can be hard to keep up. However, we have one tool you are not going to want to miss out on — our CTE Companion Application. CTE Companion will help you stay on top of your game. It keeps your orders organized and is a user-friendly platform meant to simplify your day-to-day work.

There are several notable features of our app that will benefit your business. First, is the organizational powerhouse, “My Orders” section, which is a space where online order-tracking provides you with real time status for your transaction and 24/7 access to the documents that you may need. In addition to this, there are Buyer and Seller sections that can help your lenders prepare loan estimates, agents educate buyers on the home buying process, as well as educate sellers on the selling process and help them with their payoff calculations. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the CTE Companion Application.

CTE Companion has everything you need for in the office or on the go. Your business may be changing over time, but we are here to evolve with you and help you every step of the way, bringing your business up to its best! Download the CTE Companion Application today and add all these benefits and more to your business. Contact us if you have any questions or need help. We are here for you!

There’s been a lot of buzz about the decline of the housing market lately—it’s hard to miss. With interest and mortgage rates on the rise, many buyers are being pushed out of the market. It doesn’t help that the prices of homes are also particularly high right now. There has been a major lack of residential development for over a decade across the United States, which has created a gap between the supply and demand of homes. Currently the supply of houses on the market is low, while the demand has remained relatively high. It’s the culmination of these issues that has led people to fear that the current decline will result in a crash in the housing market, similar to what occurred back in 2008. However, New Mexico is already familiar with these problems, as our housing market hasn’t quite realized its potential since the Great Recession. Our market has done well for the past two years but has fallen behind the national market overall.


What’s looking up for New Mexico


The median home value in the New Mexico real estate market has been increasing continuously for almost a decade now and we certainly won’t be seeing a price decline in the Albuquerque area. However, unlike the majority of the country, New Mexico still has quite the inventory of relatively affordable homes. Now for New Mexico natives these prices probably seem absurd, but for those looking to move to The Land of Enchantment the price might be just right.


Not only are the homes affordable, but the job market is also growing. We’ve seen tremendous growth from the energy and tourism industries as of late. We’ve also got a lower cost of living than the national average. With utilities, transportation, healthcare, groceries and more costing less, an increasing number of people may have the opportunity to become homeowners here in New Mexico. With these factors in mind, hopefully this is only a dip for our housing market rather than a crash. It’s important to keep in mind that the market is never going to be perfect—there will always be some ups and downs.


CTE is here to help


Regardless of the current challenges the market is facing, the CTE Team is well-equipped to serve you. And, while we may be relatively new to the Albuquerque area, our title and escrow teams together have a combined total of 300 years in the housing industry. We have truly seen it all! The tenure of our team in the housing market has resulted in an abundance of knowledge that is indispensable to our buyers, sellers, and agents alike.

We also have a wealth of resources you can conveniently access from home! Our online library has a ton of organized and accessible information. We understand that, at the end of the day, everyone’s timing is different and you’re in charge of your own financial future, but we are always here to help in any way you need. Whether you’re just browsing or currently in the market looking for supportive title and escrow officers, feel free to get in touch with us!

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