Saving Money On Real Estate Services On The Internet - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Saving Money On Real Estate Services On The Internet

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When you bought or sold your last home, chances are you let your real estate agent recommend a title insurance and escrow company. One company wants you to shop around for those services and save up to 35 percent.\r\n\r\nYou say you spent months searching for that perfect house, but one company wants to know if you spent any time at all shopping around for the best title insurance and escrow fees.\r\n\r\nTim Dwyer, president of, hopped on a plane and flew to San Diego from the East Coast to make a point.\r\n\r\n"Folks like you and me have the ability to shop for pretty much anything, whether it's laundry detergent or a car," Dwyer said.\r\n\r\nBut he says most home buyers and sellers are unaware federal law guarantees them the right to select their own services. \r\n\r\n"So whether you are a seller or a buyer, you have the right to choose your own title insurance company," he said.\r\n\r\nWe met Dwyer at his house on Auburndale Street in Clairemont, which is on the market for $500,000. Dwyer says his competitors will charge about $2,000 for title insurance and $2,300 for escrow fees when selling the house, for a total of $4,300. He says Entitle Direct's title insurance would be $1,300, with escrow fees at $1,200, for a total of $2,500 - a savings of 42 percent. \r\n\r\nSo how does he do it?\r\n\r\n"The commission structure for a title insurance agent is some 80 percent. It ranges from 70 to 90 percent," Dwyer said.\r\n\r\nLori Staehling is the president of the San Diego Association of Realtors. She recommends using escrow and title insurance companies that are local, not web-based.\r\n\r\n"Time to close gets down to a crunch more often than we'd like to think. To get all of the pieces pulled together, escrow, title inspections, funding, everything all at once, and it's usually a push at the end to make this thing happen on time, and having someone good and local seems to be a critical component to making that happen," Staehling said. "We are all local here."\r\n\r\nAlthough Dwyer admits your paperwork is prepared in Pittsburgh, when you sign the dotted line, "We are not closing over the internet. The closing will be a human face to face closing," he said.\r\n\r\nEntitle Direct says they are not an internet start-up. They've been selling title insurance for 30 years, it's just that now they want to do it online for less.\r\n\r\n
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