If you’ve never been involved in a real estate transaction, you may not be familiar with the terms, “titles”, “escrow”, and “title attorney,” but they are extremely important in the process of buying a home.


A title is a legal document specifying the ownership of a piece of property, often in the form of a deed. Once you buy a piece of property, the title will pass to you.

This title also may contain deed restrictions, or limits put in by an organization such as a homeowner’s or condo association. Among other restrictions, this may include limits on a number of vehicles, home renovations, and pets.

Since the Fair Housing Act of 1968, it has been illegal to include deed restrictions targeting or restricting ownership or occupation of property on the basis of race, national origin, or religion.

Always check what deed restrictions are present before buying a home!



Escrow is a third-party service that technically holds a buyer’s deposit until the terms of the sale are met. For example, escrow will hold the funds until the title is transferred to the buyer and the seller has moved out of the property.

Escrow may also be used to ensure that a business that is involved in the transaction actually does what it is supposed to do. For example, if you are hiring a contractor to perform certain work, you can place the funds in escrow to ensure the contractor actually completes the work.

In real estate, this provides important protection for the buyer in case a serious problem is discovered during the closing that necessitates aborting the sale. These problems are often discovered by title attorneys.


Title Attorneys

In addition to the legal document, a title also contains a list of the parties involved in the transaction. The list can include an owner, a lender, and a third-party vendor.

The title attorney ensures that the information in the title is accurate and that all parties have signed off on the title.

Title attorneys are extremely important in real estate transactions. They ensure that the title is correctly filled out and that the seller is legally allowed to sell the property.

A title attorney will also inform the seller or buyer if there are any problems with the title. For example, if the title was transferred improperly, a title attorney will notify the buyer of the problem and ensure that the title is corrected.


Your Home, Your Choice!

Remember, it is the buyer’s choice to decide which title company and title attorney will handle title issues. Do not let a seller pressure you to get an attorney that they prefer. The attorney should be working for YOU to make sure that the sale is done correctly and legally. Unfortunately, there are rare cases where people fraudulently obtain a title and try to sell a house. If a seller is pressuring you to use a specific attorney, that should be a red flag that something might not be right with the title.

If you have any questions about titles, escrow, or selling a home, don’t hesitate to contact our expert loan officers at CrossTimbers Mortgage! We are standing by to help YOU secure your dream home!