5/12/2005

One Stop Shopping

This is increasingly popular: You find a Realtor and then use their lender, or their escrow, or their title affiliation, all in one place. It saves time and decision-making, but is there more to it? In the wake of probes of questionable practices by certain title companies, Colorado initiated a bill, now withdrawn. Under a federal Act known as RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) which binds agents and others in the real estate industry to specific guidelines, these company affiliations are legal. But some have not followed those guidelines. What many consumers don't know is that using the real estate broker's escrow company means you aren't necessarily using an independantly licensed company, but one that may be operating under that real estate broker's license. Escrow companies are required to be a neutral 3rd party in a transaction, but are they if they are not independantly licensed? There are conveniences to one-stop shopping, but the consumer should also know more. Read here for more.

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