Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Title?

Title is the right to or ownership of a specific parcel of real estate. The main rights conferred by a real estate title are the right of possession, right of control, right of exclusion, right of enjoyment, and right of disposition. Change in ownership can be accomplished by a court decree, application of law or sale of property. The transfer of ownership is recorded in a deed and then filed with the county in which the real estate is located.

What is a deed?

A deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of real estate from one person to another. A deed should be recorded in office of the Recorder of Deeds in the county in which the real estate is located.

What is the difference between a title and a deed?

Simply put, a title defines the rights of ownership for a property and the deed is the legal documents that transfers ownership.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance protects a homeowner or lender against financial loss from real estate title defects or liens against a property. Any property that has undergone several transfers of ownership - including which it was undeveloped land - could have a hidden title issue that can affect the current homeowner or lender.

Do I need title insurance?

If you are purchasing a home with a loan, your lender typically requires you to purchase a title insurance protecting the lender’s interest in the property. The purchase of a home is typically one of the biggest investments a person makes in their life. Most buyers want title insurance to protect their investment in the property. In Illinois, most sellers provide title insurance to their buyers to protect the buyers’ interest in the property as an additional incentive to purchase the property. However, if you are purchasing property, you should review your contract to make sure that this provision is included.

Are all title companies closing companies?

Not necessarily. There are companies that only sell title insurance and there are companies that only offer escrow and settlement services. At Madison County Title, we believe that you will get the best results - and benefit from the most expertise - if we provide both title insurance and settlement services. There are a lot of moving parts that go into the closing of your home purchase, and combining title insurance and settlement services provides one convenient point of contact for the status of your transaction.

How much does title insurance cost?

The cost of title insurance varies with the purchase price of the property. We also offer a discount on the title insurance premium if evidence is provided showing that an owner’s policy was issued previously to the seller within a certain timeframe. At Madison County Title, we strive to give our customers the best possible service at the lowest possible rates. Please contact us for a free title insurance quote.

My real estate agent suggested a title company, how do I decide to go with them?

Any company that you are considering doing business with is worth doing some up-front research. Madison County Title Company would gladly answer any questions that you may have about our services.

Who decides which title insurance to purchaser?

General practice in Illinois is that the seller of the property is the one that decides which title insurance to purchase. However, the choice of title insurance company can be included as a contractual provision to your contract.