You’re a real estate agent, so you know that buying a home can be overwhelming for many of your clients. Homebuyers can easily feel confused and frustrated by the mounds of paperwork they have to sign. Plus, all the fees associated with closing can sometimes be a surprise even to an experienced buyer.
Owner’s title insurance is one of those items often misunderstood by homebuyers at closing, yet its value is tremendous. As an important advisor to your clients, you are in the position to help them understand the value of owner’s title insurance and the dangers that can be incurred without it.
If a home is to be sold but the record owner is deceased it is imperative to identify who now owns the property. The transaction can then close if the proper parties execute a deed to the buyer.
A formal probate allows for the protection and orderly distribution, after payment of debts, of the assets of the deceased to heirs and/or devisees or a sale to a third party by the personal representative. Nonetheless, even though Washington probates are not expensive or time consuming, they often are not done. But how else will the buyer know that all of the title interest is properly conveyed? What if there are valid liens (including estate taxes or state Medicaid reimbursements) against the estate that would otherwise be paid in probate? That is where the “lack of probate” concept comes into play.
Three Basic Probate Situations
The owner was single – not married or a domestic partner
The owner was married or a domestic partner and it was community property
The owner was married or a domestic partner, but it was separate property (not community property)
There are variations: did the deceased have a will? Is the estate being probated (with or without a will)?
We are excited to announce that Brandy Shell has joined our Covington Escrow Team! She brings over 18 years of industry experience with her and will be an invaluable resource for you and your clients.
Please join us in welcoming Brandy to the Ticor Title family!
Brandy began her escrow career in 2002 and quickly developed a passion for title and escrow. She worked her way from Escrow Assistant to Escrow Closer and then earned her LPO. Brandy specializes in resale transactions focusing on the Eastside and South King County marketplaces. She brings customer-focused communication and a skill for being solution oriented.
Brandy was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She also had the opportunity to live abroad and spent a few months in Brusque, Brazil. She currently resides with her husband and three kids in Lea Hill, Auburn. Brandy enjoys cooking up new recipes for her family, working in her yard, and watching her flowers grow.
You can now text your customer service requests into Ticor’s property information specialists.
More and more of our customers are preferring text communication over other traditional methods and we have the solution. In addition to our property information specialists, our closing teams are available to communicate via Text!
Benefits of Texting
Improved communication Quick response Convenient
Need a trio, a farm or want to place a title order on your next listing … text your request to your Ticor team today! 844-MY-TICOR or 844-698-4267 (Call or Text!)
Transform your digital marketing with Ticor’s Virtual Homebook!
We are proud to announce our latest innovative solution, the Ticor Virtual Homebook! This Virtual Homebook not only looks great but is a breeze to use and send on to your clients. This environmentally friendly solution still has all of the great information and resources you have come to expect from our traditional Homebooks!
Ticor Title’s team of property information specialists provide unmatched service, support, and information to our clients in Washington State. From basic property information to special projects large and small, our team is dedicated to listening carefully to our client needs and providing insights and solutions.
Earnest Money Delivery… Now Hassle-Free & Contact-Free!
startSafe Mobile Deposit allows buyers to enjoy the safety and simplicity of depositing their earnest money from the convenience of their smartphone. With just a few clicks, startSafe Mobile Deposit makes delivering earnest money as easy as taking a picture of the front and back of a check. It’s that simple. Deposits can be made as part of a buyer’s initial startSafe intuitive question-based flow or as a separate initial step. Either way, startSafe Mobile Deposit is safe and contact-free.
How does it work?
startSafe™ uses advanced security protocols and multi-factor identification to initiate a secure digital opening experience with buyers and sellers. An intuitive, question-based information collection process guides consumers through providing and confirming necessary information. Information on wire safety and specific wiring instructions are also delivered securely for consumers to review and then Visit MyTicor.com to watch a video about how startSafe™ can protect against Wire Fraud.
Since founding her own escrow company in 1996, Debbie has been a successful Title and Escrow professional and thought-leader in the Puget Sound real estate and lending industries.
She is most passionate about being in the field, connecting and deepening her relationships. She works tirelessly to make her clients look good and their transactions close smoothly. Debbie is a fountain of lead-gen and marketing ideas and is widely considered one of the industry’s best problem-solvers; a powerful advocate for Agents, Loan Officers, Buyers, and Sellers.
With over 35 years of experience in Title and Escrow, Debbie Stevens is a known and trusted resource for connections and solutions that move clients forward in the business of real estate. She is excited to now be a part of Ticor Title!
Those who know her best describe Debbie as kind, loyal, thoughtful, driven, always having a smile to share and really fun. She loves to travel and her family and close friends mean everything to her. An avid lover of champagne, Debbie looks for any reason to toast life’s meaningful moments – like the successful closing of your next transaction!
ID Thieves Are Now Targeting Unemployment Benefits
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow across the country, so do the number of COVID-19 scams that have been appearing trying to get access to personal and financial information. With this in mind we are proud to say we have partnered with long time local area consumer protection advocate Herb Weisbaum of KOMO to bring you Technology and Title Tips.
Fraudsters will always try to take advantage of new opportunities in a time of crisis like evictions, foreclosures assistance, stimulus payments, and unemployment benefits.
The Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic is a dream come true for con artists across the globe.
“There is something for every scammer,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center, who has been fighting fraud for more than 30 years now. “The scope and the scale of all the different types of scams stemming from the pandemic is something I’ve actually never seen before.”
“So we are getting calls from many people who are trying to apply for unemployment and they finally get through, which is an arduous task in itself, and they find that they’re not eligible, that they’ve already applied for it – when in fact, they know they haven’t,” Velasquez told me. “They’re crime victims and they are out that money at a time when they need it to live.”
“It can be difficult to decipher which emails, phone calls, social media posts or text messages are scams versus legitimate ones. People are scared, people are out of work, and government relief programs are distributing money in unprecedented amounts. Identity thieves are now targeting people who are out of work, trying to steal their unemployment benefits,” she said.
Unsure if something is legitimate? Go to the source of the potential assistance. That means if the offer of unemployment benefits seems to be uncharacteristic, go directly to the employment development department and check their website. If it has to do with housing – whether that’s eviction or foreclosure assistance – head to that source (local housing commission, banking institution, etc.). Don’t trust an inbound message that isn’t verifiable.
If you’ve been the victim of a scam or want to check on something before you click a link or provide personal information, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center (or call 888-400-5530) and talk or chat with one of their expert advisors.
Reid has been a valued teammate and asset to our clients for 25 years. We are so privileged to have his knowledge, generosity, and leadership. Please reach out to our Chief Title Officer Reid Vance as we celebrate his 25th anniversary with Ticor Title!