NAILTA Study – No In-house Title

The National Association of Independent Land Title Agents (NAILTA)  has just released a consumer survey that sheds light on what is important to consumers in selecting a title company.  This survey Executive Summary2013 is extremely important because it is the first of its kind to ask important questions that are designed to provide accurate results. Prior industry-sponsored surveys have misled consumers and Congressmen about the dangers of affiliating these safeguard services (like title firms that provide title insurance and closing services) with industries dependent upon the transaction closing in order to get paid. “One Stop Shopping” is the real estate industry’s term employed to disguise these conflictive and dangerous arrangements. “One Stop Shopping” does not even accurately describe a benefit that a consumer will receive. Instead, the term describes the real estate firm’s financial benefit that comes with being able to capture their clients’ title business, control the outcome of the title examination and overcharge for those services. Current laws and regulatory efforts continue to support bad real estate practices that could easily have played a role in the mortgage foreclosure crisis.

What CAARE likes about this survey is that it was done by an organization whose membership is comprised of title firms that choose to avoid the conflicts of interests (and profits) that come with “one-stop shopping.” We hope that this survey leads to more research into the role these arrangements played in the financial crisis, the elimination of laws that legalize these types of inappropriate relationships and a better education among consumers, lenders and other industry participants as to the dangers this business model presents to the financial integrity of real estate transactions.

Some important findings:

  • 93% of respondents said it was important that their title agent be a neutral third party in determining and disclosing what matters may affect their land title, including adverse liens or other interests that may restrict their use and enjoyment of their property.
  • Over 62% of respondents said that title insurance agency could not remain objective, as it pertains to title insurance matters if they shared ownership with a referral source.

Sampling of News and Blog Articles in Which CAARE was quoted (new section)

1. Should you buy a home through a seller’s agent (click here to read). By Marcie Geffner at

2. FHA PFS Program Changes (click here to read).

3. HUD postpones the ban on the dual agency in FHA short sales (link removed from host site). This is one of many reposts of the Inman story.

4. Dual Agency Hot Potatoe (click here to read). Real Estate Legal Services

5. 10 things real-estate listing sites won’t say (click here to read). By AnnaMaria Andriotis of MarketWatch.

6. Federal regulators probing real estate kickback schemes (click here to read). By Kenneth Harney of the Washington Post (nationally syndicated writer) This article appeared in numerous papers across the nation. Also appeared in Mortgage Professionals of America and other sites.

7. Are Open Houses a Waste of Sellers’ Time? (click here to read). Fox News

8. Pocket Listings Might Be the Hottest Controversy in Real Estate Today (click here to read). By Marcie Geffner

9. Affiliated Business Arrangements – more insight (click here to read) Eagle Land Title Agency Blog.

10. Pocket Listings limit buying pool and pricing potential (click here to read). Newsday, Yahoo! Finance and

11. Real Estate open house: Doorway to trouble? By Marilyn Lewis. MSN Money

12. Homebuilders put buyers into credit boot camp. Reuters and in blogs

13. Class-Action Suit Highlights Dirty Business of Home Warranties. By Kenneth Harney (nationally syndicated)

14. Open Houses – One-sided Benefits for Agents. By James Kimmons. Guide

15. How to Negotiate the Best Deal on a Home. By Tamara Holmes of Black Enterprise

16. Have Minnesota home buyers overspent by $63 million since 2010? By Andy Mannix.

17. The Affiliated Business Arrangement Addendum – What it really means to you. Rants and Ravings from your Maryland REO Title Expert (a blog)

18. MLSs mulling copyright enforcement group to go after “data pirates.” Lotus Real Estate Advisors

 19. No consensus on the real estate dual agency, double-ending. By Andrea Brambila, Inman news.

20. Survey: Open houses still have their place. InmanNews

21. MRIS injunction against NeighborCity applies only to photographs. InmanNews

22. Numerous stories in RESPANews and other affiliated online trade journals. No links because this is a pay for the content site.