What is a Title Commitment?

An offer to issue a policy

A Title Commitment (also known as a Preliminary Report in some areas) is a dated formal report that sets out in detail the conditions under which a policy of title insurance would be issued on a particular parcel of land. Its sole purpose is to facilitate the issuance of the policy. 

For information on the Title Commitment and more, we have assembled an easy-to-understand Buyer and Seller Guide to Title and Escrow for our clients and partners.   

Here’s an excerpt from What is the Title Commitment in our guide:

A Title Commitment provides a list of the matters which will be shown as exceptions to coverage in a designated policy or policies of title insurance, if issued concurrently, covering a particular state or interest in land. It is designated to provide a preliminary response to an application for title insurance and is intended to facilitate the issuance of the designated policy or policies. It is normally prepared after application (order) for such policy(ies) of title insurance on behalf of the principals to a real property transaction.

We would love to help you have an amazing closing experience on your next real estate transaction. 
Check out our Buyer and Seller Guide to Title and Escrow today!

What’s a Red Flag?

Watch out for potential delays

A “red flag” is a signal to pay attention! Below are some of the items which may cause delays or other problems within a transaction and must be addressed well before the closing. 

For information on Red Flags and more, we have assembled an easy-to-understand Buyer and Seller Guide to Title and Escrow for our clients and partners.  

Here’s an excerpt from Red Flags in the Escrow/Title Process in our guide:

Examples of Red Flags to Watch For:

  • Bankruptcies
  • Business trusts
  • Clearing liens and judgments, including child or spousal support liens
  • Encroachment or off record easements
  • Establishing fact of death–joint tenancy Family trusts
  • Foreclosures
  • Physical inspection results–Encroachment, off-record easements
  • Probates
  • Power of Attorney–Use of, proper execution
  • Proper execution of documents
  • Proper jurats, notary seals
  • Recent construction
  • Transfers or loans involving corporations or partnerships
  • Last minute change in buyers
  • Last minute change in type of title insurance coverage
We would love to help you have an amazing closing experience on your next real estate transaction. 
Check out our Buyer and Seller Guide to Title and Escrow today!

Why is Escrow Needed?

And Other Frequently Asked Questions

 Peace of Mind and Protection
The questions, “What is an Escrow?” or “Why do I need Escrow?” come up from time to time. To answer these common questions and more, we have assembled an easy-to-understand Buyer and Seller Guide to Title and Escrow for our clients and partners.  

Here’s an excerpt from Escrow: Frequently Asked Questions in our guide:

  • Why is Escrow Needed? Whether you are the buyer or the seller, you want assurance that no funds or property will change hands until all instructions have been followed. With the increasing complexity of business, law and tax structures, it takes a trained professional to supervise the transaction.
  • How Long is an Escrow? The length of an escrow is determined by the terms of the purchase agreement/joint escrow instructions and can range from a few days to several months.
  • Who Chooses the Escrow? The selection of the escrow holder is normally done by agreement between the principals. If a real estate agent is involved, they may recommend an escrow holder.
We would love to help you have an amazing closing experience on your next real estate transaction. 
Check out our Buyer and Seller Guide to Title and Escrow today!

What Does Title Insurance Protect?

Why Title Insurance?

 Peace of Mind and Protection
We are often asked, “Why do I need title insurance?”, and “What does title insurance protect?”. To answer these common questions and more, we have assembled an easy-to-understand Buyer and Seller Guide to Title and Escrow for our clients and partners.  

Here’s an excerpt from The Title Insurance Value Proposition in our guide:

  • Title insurance protects the interests of property owners and lenders against legitimate or false title claims by owners or lien holders. It insures the title to the investment, unlocking its potential as a financial asset for the owner.
  • Title problems are discovered in more than one-third of residential real estate transactions. These “defects” must be resolved prior to closing. The most common problems are existing liens, unpaid mortgages, and recording errors of names, addresses or legal descriptions.
  • A homeowner’s title insurance policy protects the owner for as long as he or she has an interest in the property; and the premium is paid only once, at closing.
We would love to help you have an amazing closing experience on your next real estate transaction. 
Check out our Buyer and Seller Guide to Title and Escrow today!

Like your favorite coffee house!

At Ticor we strive to create a unique and personal closing experience that is unmatched in the industry. As many of our clients know, our closings are smooth and consistent time after time.

These are just a few of the reasons why working with
Ticor is like being at your favorite coffee house!

The Ticor Difference:

  • We take a proactive approach from beginning to end.
  • Files are opened immediately.
  • Title is cleared and all items needed for closing are obtained within ten days of opening. This means no surprises at closing for items missed or simply not addressed.
  • We sign our sellers in advance to ensure they sign at a date, time and place that is convenient for them.
  • We can better accommodate same day buyer signings and closings because our sellers are already signed.
  • We send file updates throughout the transaction to keep our clients in the loop of what comes next.
  • We e-record all of our documents which allows us to get the recording numbers back to our clients ASAP.
  • We use the customer preferred method of communication by phone calls and texting which makes it easy and convenient for our agents and clients to communicate with our team.
  • Since our closers work in teams there is always someone available to speak with or answer questions for clients.

We invite you to stop by one of our 
ten beautiful offices – coffee is on us!

844-MY-TICOR or 844-698-4267 (Call or Text!)

Help Protect Yourself From Wire Fraud

Real estate wire fraud is real.
Learn how to be WireSafe.

What is a wire?

A wire, or wire transfer, is an electronic transfer of money across a network from one bank or credit union to another. With a wire, no physical money moves between bank locations, but people or entities are able to “wire” money to another person or entity as long as they have a bank account. Wires are typically used in most real estate transactions because funds are received more quickly (usually the same day), and there are no holds placed on the money once received.

What is wire fraud?

Wire fraud typically involves a hacker gaining access to an email account and posing as a trusted party involved in your real estate transaction. This could be someone pretending to be your real estate agent, loan officer, title agent, or even an attorney. Once the hacker has access to a trusted email account, the hacker sends an email from that account or from a similar account that looks “almost” the same as one of the parties in the transaction – with information related to your transaction, including wire instructions for your closing funds. If you react to that email, your funds are sent to an account controlled by the hacker in some manner. Once receipt of the money is confirmed, the hacker immediately withdrawals your funds from that account using multiple transfers to accounts normally outside the United States. Once these transfers occur, the likelihood of recovery is small, if at all.

What are wire instructions?

Best-Practice Tip:

For added security, we only send wire instructions through our encrypted system using two-factor authentication.

Wire instructions are the directions you follow when sending money electronically to another person or entity. In the case of your home purchase, the funds are typically sent to your settlement agent. Wire instructions typically include:

  • Bank Name and Address
  • Bank ABA Number
  • Bank Account Number
  • Account Holder’s Name
  • Reference Information (in real estate transactions, this is usually a file number)

There are steps you can take to help protect yourself.

Wire fraud is real and home buyers and sellers are the biggest targets. For this reason, we have developed the WireSafe program to help educate customerson wire fraud. Be WireSafe by following these 4 steps every time.

Confirm all wiring instructions, including specific banking information, by phone before transferring funds. Use the phone number for your closing agent/escrow officer provided on their website or from a business card. Never rely on phone numbers in email communications.

It’s not common for title companies to change wiring instructions and payment information.

Ask your bank to confirm the account number and the name on the account before sending any wire.

Call your closing agent/escrow officer to confirm the funds were received.

Remember to inquire before you wire. Be WireSafe.

Were you the target of wire fraud?

If you think you may have been the victim of wire fraud, here are some steps you must take. Time is of the essence – every second and minute counts. Contact banks, transaction parties, and law enforcement immediately upon discovery.

Immediately call your bank

  • Ask them to issue a recall notice due to fraud for your wire
  • Ask them to reach out to the receiving bank’s fraud department to:
    • Notify them of the recall due to fraud
    • Ask for a freeze on the account involved

Report the crime to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)


Report the crime to Law Enforcement

Pre-Closing Checklist for Home Sellers

Our team of experts are committed to providing home sellers with clear communication, consistency, and personalized service throughout the escrow process. But the exciting process of selling a home involves so much more for the homeowner. The checklist below can help reduce stress and organize the selling process for our valued clients.

Immediately Upon Acceptance Of The Contract

  • Follow-up on any terms specified in the contract (clearance letters, providing homeowner association paperwork, etc.)
  • Make any repairs specified in the contract
  • Provide the current mortgage loan(s) information and/or equity line of credit information to your agent (this should include your account numbers, contact information for the lender(s) and your personal information)

Deliver The Following To Your Escrow Officer

  • Your forwarding address
  • Any existing payoff information
  • Identify leased equipment
  • Homeowner Association information
  • Utilities (if they are to be paid out of escrow)
  • Judgment/Liens
  • Any name changes since vesting

During The Home Inspection

  • You should not be onsite during the inspection, but your real estate agent may be there as your representative
  • If possible, be accessible by phone to answer any questions
  • Provide your agent with keys to any areas (crawlspaces, attics, detached buildings, etc) that the inspector will need to access
  • If the property is currently vacant, ensure that all utilities are on prior to the inspection

One To Two Weeks Following The Acceptance Date Of The Contract

  • Review any inspection amendment from the buyer with your agent and begin making agreed repairs
  • Make arrangements for a moving truck or schedule your moving service
  • Provide your agent with your preferred closing time

Two Weeks Before Closing Date

  • Go to USPS.com/move to change your address online or get a change of address package from the post office.
  • Begin notifying family, friends, debtors, etc of address change
  • Begin collecting information to pass on to the new owner (receipts for appliances, warranty information, owner’s manuals, repair and contractor contact information and dates of service)

One Week Before Closing

  • Call your utility companies to schedule the final readings and disconnect dates
  • Get directions to escrow office from your real estate agent or determine location for a mobile escrow signing
  • Organize receipts and information in relation to the work done to satisfy the inspection amendment. Provide copies to your real estate agent

Day Before Signing Appointment

  • Review the preliminary Settlement Statement to verify that the terms of the contract are correct and pay special attention to the line items for water bills, homeowner association dues, and mortgage balances
  • If you have any concerns, discuss them with your agent
  • If there is a chance of any dispute, your agent may advise you to bring proof of payment to the closing

Day Of Signing

  • Have two pieces of valid ID (one being photo ID) available at your signing appointment: Driver’s License, State ID, Passport, or Green Card
  • If funds are required to close, be prepared to bring the monies in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer. These funds need to be received by the Escrow office 24 hours in advance of the recording/closing date indicated on your Purchase and Sale Agreement.
  • Give the new owner your forwarding address and phone number in case anything is accidentally sent to you at the old address

4 Steps to Preventing Wire Fraud

four steps to prevent wire fraud

Buyers and Sellers are Targets for Fraud

Warning! Wire fraud is real and home buyers and sellers are one of the biggest targets.

Scams to divert funds via wire transfer are widespread. Home buyers and sellers are experiencing multiple attempts to divert their entire life savings every day and we want to make sure they do not fall prey to any scam. Fraudsters target home buyers via email to trick them into sending a wire for their down payment and closing costs to the fraudster’s bank account, instead of the title company. The money is then siphoned out of the account and transferred out of the country.

Four Steps to Avoiding Fraud

Don’t be a victim. Below are four steps to avoid falling prey to wire fraud scams:

Four Ways to Prevent Wire Fraud

Call, don’t email:

Confirm all wiring instructions by phone before transferring funds. Use a trusted phone number from the title company’s website or a business card.

Be suspicious:

It’s not common for title companies to change wiring instructions and payment info.

Confirm it all:

Ask your bank to confirm not just the account number but also the name on the account before sending a wire.

Verify immediately:

Call the title company to confirm the funds were received.

Additional Wire Fraud Prevention Tips

Protect Yourself and Your Clients From Wire Fraud
True Story: Escrow Team Prevents Diverted Payoff Wires

Ticor Title Opens New Escrow Location in Covington

We are pleased to announce the opening of a new escrow location in the Covington, WA community. You’ll find us conveniently located across from Covington Square Shopping Center where Highway 18 and Highway 516 meet.

Improved Service to Covington, Maple Valley, and Black Diamond Communities

The growth of Ticor’s Puget Sound operation has created opportunity for us to provide improved service and accessibility to the Southeast King County area. Our new escrow branch in Covington offers a central location with ample free parking, proximity to amenities, and easy access. We are excited to offer time savings and added convenience for our clients and partners in the area.

Where to find Ticor Title in Covington

27116 167th Pl SE, #102,
Covington, WA 98042

Phone: 253-631-3990

True Story: Escrow Team Prevents Diverted Payoff Wires

diverted payoff wires

diverted payoff wires

On February 12, 2018, Larissa C., an escrow assistant for Ticor Title of Nevada in Las Vegas, opened an escrow transaction for the sale of a residential property for $240,000. Once the title report was received, Larissa ordered a payoff statement from the existing lienholder. The payoff was sent via e–fax and she placed it in the file awaiting closing.

On March 7, 2018, Larissa worked up the file and sent the estimated closing statement to the Listing Agent.

The Listing Agent then provided Larissa with an “updated” payoff statement by email with a number of demands for Larissa to confirm: that she received the new payoff statement and she would use that one in making the payoff.

It is not normal that an agent would order an updated payoff statement to be delivered to the settlement agent. Larissa was suspicious about the email exchange, so she forwarded the email chain to her escrow officer, Stacey G., to review.

Stacey and Larissa knew something was wrong. They compared the two payoff statements closely. These were the wire instructions contained in the body of each payoff statement:

ORIGINAL Payoff Statement: ALTERED Payoff Statement
Account #: XXXXXXX279
ABA/Routing Number: XXXXXXXXX
Bank Name: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Bank Address: 420 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104

(the instructions included overnight delivery instructions for a cashier’s check)

Account #: XXXXXXX086
ABA/Routing Number: XXXXXXXXX
Wire Reference: USA/Birt/payoff
Beneficiary: Brit Equipment/payoff
Bank Name: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Bank Address: 1445 Ross Ave. Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75202

(the overnight delivery instructions were removed altogether)

Together they called the payoff lender and confirmed their suspicion: the second payoff was from a fraudster! They detected the scam. They immediately contacted the Listing Agent by telephone, using a known, trusted telephone number. They reported someone was posing as him in the transaction and sending emails from an account that looked like his.

They immediately contacted the Listing Agent by telephone, using a known, trusted telephone number.

Ultimately, they wired the funds to the correct account of the payoff lender and saved the Company from a possible loss of $153,300.37! As a result of their actions, the Company has rewarded Stacey and Larissa for their expertise in discovering the fraud and preventing it from occurring.