Don’t call the (800) number!

Posted January 21, 2022 in Real Estate Trends

Scott Hogan, Clark County WA real estate agent

I’d like to address two separate services being heavily advertised on radio and television. I suggest neither is a good idea.

The first is for a service (several names are used) that claims it will protect you from a scammer stealing your house. That’s right: your house, that you already own. How could such a theft occur? A criminal would forge your name and signature on a deed, forge or trick a Notary to notarize it, record it (file it) at the County Auditor’s office, and trick a buyer or lender into handing over money for the house. That is hard to do unless that buyer or lender buys or loans without seeing the house (as in “I can’t show you the house, but I’ll sell it to you cheap”).

Buyers and lenders can protect themselves by buying title insurance, but that’s not why I’m writing about this. Instead, I’m trying to prevent owners from paying for a service that will inform you IF this very-unlikely fraud happens. If this concerns you (and title companies have ALWAYS been concerned about detecting fraudulent documents), here’s what you should do: go to the Clark County Auditor’s website. Make sure it is our Clark County, not Nevada—and find the “Enroll Now” button for the FREE notification service under “Recording Overview.” This will notify you if any documents are recorded concerning your property. That’s a lot cheaper than paying for such a service!

Also heavily advertised are firms that claim they can save you money on real estate commissions. Call us, they say, and we’ll hook you up with our pre-selected agents in your market. Don’t fall for it!

Keep in mind that title companies don’t make our money from real estate commissions. Sellers pay for title insurance that protects buyers, and borrowers pay for title insurance that protects lenders. Why do we care, then, about who is collecting commissions? Because we are firm believers in local, local, local. A seller is going to pay whatever real estate commission they negotiate with the listing agent. When you call a referral service (not an actual agent) like those that heavily advertise, the Seller is still going to pay, but the local agent will have to pay a hefty chunk of that money to the company that convinced you to call them instead of the agent that did all of the work— the only thing that the company did was to convince you to call their (800) number instead of a local number.

Clark County Title is the local title company, locally owned and independent. We’re not a branch office of a mega-corporation. If you have questions or concerns about this column or title insurance, please call! Clark County Title wants to be part of your real estate success!

From your friends at Clark County Title,