Blog

Common Hurdles in the Home Closing Process

After a real estate contract has been signed, it’s time to go through the closing process. Given that there are multiple parties and so many steps involved, it’s possible to hit a few hurdles along the way. Believe it or not, this can be quite common and may cause delays. Read our latest blog to learn more about common closing hurdles and how to navigate them.

Economic Update Q4 2023

Dramatic swings in fourth quarter interest rates brought seasonally unusual activity to the residential market. They also led to a mixed bag of performance in the commercial market, with the hotel and retail sectors bolstered by tourism and the holiday season.

Navigating the Current Housing Market: Finding the Brighter Side

Despite discouraging trends in the housing market, even dark clouds have a silver lining. Owning property is still considered a great investment! Check out our blog to learn why and tips for navigating the current market.

Commercial Market Snapshot Q4 2023

While the Office sector still had challenges, the worst may be over for other commercial real estate sectors. There are signs that the plunge in prices and transaction volumes may have bottomed out and the Federal Reserve is done raising rates. Learn more in our new blog.

Understanding FIRPTA

The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax of 1980 (FIRPTA) was enacted to ensure that foreign sellers who realize capital gains from the sale or disposition of U.S. real property interests are held accountable for their tax obligations. Although the withholding is subject to the seller, in most cases the withholding agent is the buyer. Read our blog to learn more about FIRPTA regulations.

Tis' the Season to be Hacked

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, especially cybercriminals. Learn about the latest email, voice and text scams to protect your funds.

AI Voice Impersonation Scams on the Rise

Scammers are becoming even more sophisticated, and the latest trend is using artificial intelligence to clone and impersonate a person’s voice to trick targets into thinking they’re talking to someone they know. Read on to learn how to avoid falling victim to this rising crime.

Email Impersonation Fraud: A Growing Tactic

Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to trick their targets. Email impersonation is as simple as a fraudster creating an email address that looks legitimate at first glance to trick their targets into trusting them. Learning how to spot and outsmart fraudsters can help keep you from falling victim to email impersonation.

Economic Update Q3 2023

Once again, prognostications of a recession were premature, thanks to sustained consumer spending and a residential construction rebound. Despite ongoing challenges in CRE, the market showed signs of thawing, bolstered by loan modifications and growth in several sectors.

Seller Impersonation Fraud

Real estate transactions continue to be a prime target for fraudsters searching for financial gain. One scheme that has gained a recent uptick is seller impersonation fraud – a type of fraud in which bad actors impersonate property owners to try to sell real estate they don’t own. Knowing how the tactic works and the red flags to look out for can help prevent you from becoming a victim. Read more in our blog.

Commercial Market Snapshot Q3 2023

Despite continued challenges for the Office sector in the third quarter, most asset classes still possessed underlying strengths. They were also bolstered by several supportive financial developments. Learn more in our new blog.

Physical Power Purchase Agreements for Renewable Energy

As more organizations focus on reducing their carbon footprint and the cost of renewable energy options continues to fall, a growing number of organizations are turning to Physical Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to finance their energy needs. Read our blog to learn more.

Economic Update Q2 2023

The prospects for a downturn in Q2 2023 evaporated, leading to a small recovery in the residential real estate market. A constrictive financial environment held back commercial real estate transactions but most sectors had solid fundamentals. Learn more in our new blog.

Commercial Market Snapshot Q2 2023

The challenges facing CRE investors intensified this quarter, hampering transaction volume. But ongoing market price adjustments and normalizing fundamentals behind the Industrial, Retail and Apartment sectors eased concerns.

FBI: New & Evolving Internet Crimes Cause Record Financial Loss

According to the FBI’s 2022 Internet Crime Report, cybercrime continues to rise at high volumes. To avoid becoming a victim, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the terms and tactics cybercriminals use and the impact they cause.

Five Common Threats to Business Cybersecurity

Cybercrime continues to grow in scope and sophistication, posing a dangerous threat to businesses. This blog highlights five common threats facing businesses today, particularly the title and real estate industry, and proactive measures for protecting yourself and your organization.

Marijuana & the Title Industry: Where Are We Now?

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, posing risks for title professionals handling state-legal marijuana-related transactions. See how that could change.

Economic Update Q1 2023

The first quarter of 2023 was marked by several surprises. Learn more about these forces and how they could impact the residential and commercial real estate markets this spring.

Four Takeaways from NAR’s New Generational Trends Report

The NAR has released its latest Generational Trends Report for 2022. Learn more about key updates and takeaways in our latest blog.

Commercial Market Snapshot Q1 2023

While the broader commercial real estate market posted transaction declines entering 2023, the Retail, Industrial and Hospitality sectors have helped bolster the economy in Q1 2023.

Opportunity Zones During Economic Uncertainty*

The Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive provides investors a vehicle for long-term private investment of capital gains in distressed communities while also spurring economic growth and job creation in low-income communities.

Economic Update Q4 2022

Downward forces on markets continued into the fourth quarter but were tempered by the holiday season.

Understanding the Condo Conversion Process

Condos are often the go-to option for low-to-moderately priced housing in metropolitan areas. When the demand for condos is high, many investors and developers look to condo conversions to increase their profit revenue, since working with an existing building is generally faster, less expensive and less risky than building from the ground up. Learn more about the process before taking the plunge.

A Guide to Historic Home Preservation

Owning a historic home means owning a piece of history, but it does come with particular quirks, restrictions and maintenance. Read our latest blog to learn more about preserving a historic home.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe for the Holidays

The holidays are a busy time. Check out these tips and reminders to protect yourself, your home and your loved ones, and keep your holidays merry and bright.

Consumer Privacy Legislation and the Title Industry

With the lack of a federal comprehensive consumer data privacy law, the U.S. is experiencing a massive push towards privacy legislation at the state level. The title industry has adhered to industry-specific federal data privacy and security requirements for decades. Read on to learn more.

Is a Rent-to-Own Agreement Right for You?

If you’re a prospective homebuyer struggling to qualify for a mortgage loan, or a seller having trouble marketing a rental property, a rent-to-own agreement may be an option worth exploring. Check out our latest blog to learn how it works and the pros and cons associated with it.

Economic Update Q3 2022

The economy shrugged off talk of a recession thanks to consumers’ staying power. Surging interest rates had the intended effects: softening the job market, slowing down commercial real estate deals and subduing the residential market.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Learn more about this annual observance and how you can help prevent cybercrime and wire fraud.

8 Common Title Problems and How Title Insurance Can Help

Undiscovered title problems can be downright scary. They can surface unexpectedly, wreak havoc on your finances, and even force you out of your home. Learn how title problems can threaten your property rights, which ones are most common and how title insurance protects your property interests.

Pro Tips for Closing on a Home

Closing on a home is an exciting moment for both buyers and sellers, but getting there can feel a little overwhelming. Here’s our list of pro tips to help you feel more confident and prepared for the process.

Cryptocurrency in Real Estate

When it comes to combining cryptocurrency with real estate, it’s important to understand what cryptocurrency is and how it works, how it’s showing up in real estate and what protocols to be aware of when it comes to closing transaction.

Are iBuyers Worth Considering in this Market?

Since 2014, iBuyer services have offered a convenient, fast-cash alternative to the traditional home selling and closing process. But are they worth it in the current market?

Exploring the 40-Year Mortgage

Amid record home prices and economic uncertainty, some buyers are exploring an option some people have never heard of: the 40-year mortgage. Read on to learn more about this loan term to decide if it’s right for you.

Probate and Real Property Transfers

When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want to do is sort through the complex details of their assets – especially real property. But knowing what happens to real property after death can help avoid unwarranted surprises. Read on to get the answers to some of the most common questions about transferring real property and the probate process.

Alternative Energy Opportunities for Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate accounts for nearly 40 percent of energy use in the U.S. Find out how alternative energy opportunities can lower these costs and boost the corporate image of environmental responsibility.

Co-Owning a Home with a Friend or Relative

Over the years, there’s been a growing trend of joint property ownership between friends and relatives. Is this the right option for you? Read on to learn the benefits and drawbacks of taking this path to homeownership.

Economic Update Q2 2022

Rising inflation took a toll on the economy in the second quarter of 2022. While the job situation remained robust and consumers continued their spending, they became seriously concerned about costs. Elevated mortgage rates slowed down the residential housing market, but commercial real estate was only minimally impacted. By the end of June, the government was bringing a wide range of weapons to fight inflation.

Tips for Protecting Your Home While on Vacation

When you’re heading out for vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is your home. Taking precautions to secure it while you’re away helps to create a worry-free vacation.

Understanding Generational Trends in Home Buying and Selling: Part 3

The housing market is persevering as inflation and interest rates rise and supply chain issues continue. How is this affecting each generation of buyers and sellers in 2022, and how can industry professionals best assist in the process? Read on to learn more.

Understanding Generational Trends in Home Buying and Selling: Part 2

The housing market is persevering as inflation and interest rates rise and supply chain issues continue. How is this affecting each generation of buyers and sellers in 2022, and how can industry professionals best assist in the process? Read on to learn more.

Understanding Generational Trends in Home Buying and Selling Series: Part 1

The housing market is persevering as inflation and interest rates rise and supply chain issues continue. How is this affecting each generation of buyers and sellers in 2022, and how can industry professionals best assist in the process? Read on to learn more.

Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. If you live in a hurricane-prone region, now is the time to prepare. A preparedness plan can help mitigate some of the damage and relieve you of additional stress.

Alternative Housing Options

With a shortage of conventional homes on the market, alternative housing options are becoming more popular. Whether you want to live a more minimalist lifestyle, enjoy more financial freedom, or reduce your carbon footprint, these alternatives to conventional housing provide the opportunity to create a home that is truly unique. Learn more about the pros and cons associated with each.

Plan Now for Juneteenth Office Closures

With peak selling season just around the corner, don’t forget to plan your real estate transactions around Juneteenth, the new federal holiday that falls during the busiest sales month of the year.

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The State of 1031 Exchange in 2022

Real estate investors often use a 1031 Exchange as part of their investment strategy to defer capital gains tax on business and investment properties. With the Biden Administration’s proposal to cap deferral, many investors are questioning the state of this like-kind exchange.

Green Building Trends

Green building continues to grow in popularity and is predicted to expand over the coming years. Learn about some of the environmentally friendly trends that are gaining attention.

Economic Update Q1 2022

Despite a wave of formidable challenges, including war in Ukraine, strong investment in commercial real estate continued to bolster economic recovery during the first quarter of 2022. Read on to learn more.

Tips for Boosting Your Home's Curb Appeal

Whether you plan to put your home on the market or stay for years, curb appeal is important to both home buyers and homeowners. If you’re ready to enhance yours, check out our tips for boosting curb appeal while avoiding steps that could create title problems.

A Guide to Your Pre-Move Purge

Moving is stressful. To ease the burden, consider the following pre-move purge ideas to lighten the load of packing, organizing, and transporting your belongings on moving day.

an image of a handshake in front of a CRE Sale-leaseback signed document

The Perks and Pitfalls of a CRE Sale-Leaseback

A commercial real estate sale-leaseback allows the owner of a company to enter into an agreement with a buyer to sell a property and then lease it, maintaining possession and control of the business located there. Weighing the perks and pitfalls of these types of complex transactions should not be taken lightly.

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The Pros and Cons of a Rent-Back Agreement

A rent-back agreement is a contract between a home buyer and seller that allows the seller to continue to live in the home after the closing. It comes with pros and cons for both the buyer and the seller.

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Renovations that Add Value

Gearing up for the housing market’s busy season, many sellers are looking to add value to their homes. Consider these renovation ideas to upgrade your home and increase its price tag.

an image of graph lines with the text "Economic Update Q4 2021"

Economic Update Q4 2021

The fourth quarter of 2021 saw healthy economic expansion despite hiccups caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 late in the quarter. Positive trends continued in commercial real estate, while building and buying are expected to persevere through historically slow winter months. Read on to learn more.

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What You Need to Know Before Building a Home

Are you considering a custom-built home? If so, you’re not alone. The pandemic has changed the way we live, especially when it comes to our homes. Find out what factors to consider before you start the journey.

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7 Reasons Homeowners Need Title Insurance

Title insurance is vital for homeowners’ financial security. Here are seven reasons to purchase title insurance, so you can properly protect your property.

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Home Modifications for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Maintaining mobility is critical in making sure seniors and people with disabilities have a successful, independent life at home. Taking the time to consider what modifications will create a functional and safe home is an important task that can also save you time and money.

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13 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Winter is right around the corner! Keep your home safe, prevent unnecessary repairs and save money on heating costs with these 13 tips for winterizing your home.

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Mass Migration Across the U.S. Continues

Nearly two years into the pandemic, many Americans are still migrating. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at where people are going and why.

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Economic Update Q3 2021

Despite challenges posed by the Delta variant and extreme weather, business spending and a rebounding commercial sector pushed the economy forward. Learn more in our Q3 2021 Economic Update.

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Preventing Home Loss as CARES Act Protections Expire

The federal foreclosure moratorium has come to an end, but homeowners still have options to help prevent home loss. Learn more in this blog from Old Republic Title.

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Important Things to Consider About Property Taxes

If you’re considering purchasing a home, there’s some important things to consider about property taxes before you make a move.

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Safety Tips for Real Estate Professionals

Safety should be your top priority when working in the field. Learn how real estate professionals can help protect themselves with these REALTOR® Safety Tips.

Homeowners Insurance vs. Title Insurance

What is the difference between homeowners insurance and title insurance? And why do you need both? Learn the answers to these questions and more here.

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New Insights into Manufactured Home Financing

Manufactured housing is an important affordable housing option for low-income families. However, the CFPB reveals this cost-effective option may be accompanied by unintended financial burdens.

an image of graph lines with the text "Economic Update Q2 2021"

Economic Update Q2 2021

The economic recovery in the second quarter was surprisingly spry, reflecting the reopening of businesses and spending by an increasingly vaccinated public. Read more about it in our Q2 2021 Economic Update.

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Home Maintenance to Keep You Safe

Protect your home from damage and keep your family safe with these safe home maintenance tips.

What Closing Costs Are Required?

Closing costs can add thousands of dollars to your real estate transaction on top of the down payment, so it’s important to understand what you could be required to pay and plan accordingly.

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Home Appraisal FAQs

If you plan on purchasing a home with a mortgage loan or refinancing an existing loan, the lender may require a home appraisal. Check out Old Republic Title’s Home Appraisal FAQs for answers to some of the most common questions.

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How Efforts to Decriminalize Marijuana in the U.S. Could Impact the Title Industry

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, posing risks for title professionals handling state-legal marijuana-related transactions. See how that could change.

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10 Tips for a More Sustainable Home

Creating a sustainable lifestyle starts at home. Check out our top 10 tips for a more sustainable home to get started on your new sustainability plan.

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Economic Update Q1 2021

The economy in the first quarter of the year was stronger than expected, although progress was uneven. Read more about it in our Q1 2021 Economic Update.

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13 DIY Staging Tips for Home Sellers

Staging your home can be one of the best ways to help it sell quickly. Read our tips for staging your home to impress buyers here.

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Mortgage Relief Options During the Pandemic

Millions of Americans are currently behind on their mortgage payments, but that doesn't need to mean foreclosure. Learn about the mortgage relief options currently available here.

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Economic Update: Q4 2020

See our economic update for Q4 2020 to find out how all things housing are expected to continue to propel the economy.

Technology Trends in Commercial Real Estate

Technology adoption continues to play a key role in expediting advancements in commercial real estate (CRE) and creating safer environments for employees, tenants and customers. Read on to explore some of CRE’s top technology trends.

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6 Ways to Protect Your Holiday Packages

With online shopping on the rise, porch pirates are lifting packages from our doorsteps more than ever. See how you can stop these thieves in their tracks.

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3 Things We Know About COVID-19 Migration So Far

Since the start of COVID-19, we've heard stories of urban residents looking to move out of the city. Did COVID really spark a mass exodus? Here's what we know.

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Economic Update: Q3 2020

Old Republic Title provides an economic update for 3Q 2020, which reflects cautious optimism as we head into 2021.

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10 Cybersecurity Tips for Working from Home

Keeping data secure when you're working from home is just as important as when you're in the office. Learn more about how to stay safe with these 10 tips.

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COVID-19’s Effect on Real Estate

COVID-19 has created a year of disruption, but out of that has come growth and innovation. To focus more on some good news, we're highlighting some of the recent silver linings in real estate.

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Do You Have a Home Evacuation Plan?

An organized evacuation plan can help keep you and your family safe from natural disasters and other catastrophic events. Here's what to consider when making your plan.

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Consumer Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic may be leaving your finances vulnerable. Learn more here about what you can do to protect your finances right now.

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COVID-19 and Wire Fraud

Your real estate transaction may be vulnerable to cyber criminals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Old Republic Title offers three simple steps you can take to protect your funds from wire fraud.

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8 Common Misconceptions About Title Insurance

Have you heard that you shouldn't bother with title insurance when buying your new home? Here are 8 misconceptions you may have about title insurance and why it's vital to protecting your home.

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America’s Affordable Housing Crisis

Affordable housing is getting harder to find in America, particularly since the Great Recession. We break down some of the reasons driving a nationwide lack of affordability here.

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Smart Homes and Security Vulnerabilities

Smart homes make life easier, but their convenience comes at a cost. Connecting these devices to the internet can expose security vulnerabilities. Learn how to stay safe from common pitfalls here.

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Suspect Real Estate Wire Fraud? Act Fast!

If you are a real estate customer and complied with a request to change wiring instructions, you could be a victim of wire fraud and need to act fast to get your money back.

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Best Practices for Preventing Real Estate Wire Fraud

In the digital age, wiring large sums of money to purchase property has become commonplace, but so have attempts to steal those funds – and they’re getting very deceptive. Learn how to protect yourself.

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Securing Your Smartphone

Your phone does more than just make calls now, it's probably home to some of your most sensitive data. Learn what you can do to better secure your smartphone and protect your information.

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Are iBuyers Worth the Cost?

Getting an instant cash offer for your home without having to put time into repairs, staging and showing sounds great. But working with iBuyers may cost more than you think.

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New Strategies for Courting Customers in the Digital Age

Technology has changed the global marketplace and Lenders hoping to win customer loyalty can learn valuable lessons from customer relationship experts.

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Is Title Insurance Really Worth the Cost? - Part 2: The Gamble

How could someone else legally have the right to the house you just bought? It turns out, choosing not to purchase an Owner's Policy of Title Insurance was a larger gamble than you thought.

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Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Another great way to protect your home is with scheduled seasonal maintenance. Learn what you can do to help maintain your home.

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New Reasons to Explore Blockchain Technology

Advances in technology are paving the way to blockchain adoption in the mortgage industry. Learn more here about why blockchain technology may be worth further exploration.

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“Location, Location, Location” in a New Real Estate Climate

Extreme weather events in the U.S. have brought costly damage to real estate. So much so, that Real Estate Investment Trusts are beginning to evaluate how much location matters regarding climate risks.

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Marijuana and the Title Industry

With states across the U.S legalizing marijuana at some level, the financial and insurance industries are caught between federal and state laws. With so many associated risks, where is the title industry on this topic?

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Investing in Distressed Communities Through Opportunity Zones

The Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive provides investors a vehicle for long-term private investment of capital gains in distressed communities. Learn more about the program here.

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A Guide to Your Pre-Move Purge

If you’re preparing to move, now may be the time for that big purge of items. Here's a quick guide to decluttering for your move.

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Resources for Homebuyers in a Hot Market

It's getting more expensive to buy a house, but home ownership doesn't have to stay out of reach. Learn about resources buyers can use to qualify for a loan, lower mortgage costs and more.

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Why Did Disruption Happen Faster in 2018?

Disruption has been growing in real estate industries for years, but not at the rate we saw in 2018. Why is it happening so fast now?

Stop. Call. Verify: The Wire Fraud Drill

Protect your real estate transaction from wire fraud by running though the three simple steps of Old Republic Title's Wire Fraud Drill.

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Is Title Insurance Really Worth the Cost?

If you’re tempted to cut homebuying costs by declining an owner’s policy of title insurance, you may want to reconsider. Opting out could cost much more than you think.

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FinTech: New Solutions for the Mortgage Industry in the Digital Age

Consumers are looking to the mortgage industry to go digital, while financial institutions want to maximize efficiencies. FinTech can do both - and implementing these technologies may soon get easier.

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12 Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Floods and Insurance

Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster, but what will insurance cover? Learn more about other ways you can protect your home.

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When Wire Fraud Calls

When wire fraud calls, will you recognize it? You can prevent wire fraud by making sure each party uses verified phone numbers throughout the transaction.

Selling a Home Subject to a Solar Agreement

Half of U.S. states are now utilizing solar power, particularly solar agreements, but there can be unique challenges when selling a solar-powered home. Learn more about the process in our latest blog.

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Old Republic Title Invests in Title Agent Success

Investing in the success of our title agents is a key component to Old Republic Title's continued financial strength. Learn how we work towards Shared Success.

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Building Blockchain into Real Estate

Could blockchain change the face of real estate transactions? Old Republic Title explains this technology and what's blocking it from industry overhaul.

Closing Time: 6 Steps Every Homebuyer Should Expect

There's a lot of steps that go into the home closing process. Learn what to expect and where you fit in to a smooth closing.

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It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, it's an Underwriter!

Old Republic Title's local underwriters can be your everyday heroes ready to serve your needs.

Use of Foreign Notaries

Keep settlements on track by making sure real estate documents are properly notarized - especially when they're coming from a foreign country.

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Remote Notarizations Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

Signatures notarized via webcam are making inroads in two U.S. states, but this digital trend isn't quite ready for national rollout. Learn more about how remote notarization could invalidate mortgages and other documents.

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Tribal Sovereign Immunity

A recent case decided by the state of Washington's Supreme Court muddies the waters regarding the applicability of tribal sovereign immunity claims in in rem actions, that is actions directly against the property rather than actions against a person.

The FAQs of Title Insurance For Homebuyers

For most of us, a home is the largest investment we'll make in our lives. To buy with confidence, get owner's title insurance. It's the smart way to protect your property from legal claims. To help you understand how owner's title insurance works, here are answers to common questions.

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What Every Real Estate Agent Should Know About Owner's Title Insurance

As an important advisor to your clients, you are in the position to help them understand the value of owner's title insurance.

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Moving? Plan Now with a Printable Checklist

Need a hand planning ahead and staying organized along the way? Old Republic Title's here to help with a handy Moving Checklist you can print and use well before the big day.

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Title Agents Beware of Fakes, Phonies and Forgeries

Old Republic Title is here to help title agents learn to spot fraudulent schemes in real estate, title and property transfers.

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If Hallways Could Speak

There is a lot being written about cybersecurity and its impact on the real estate industry. Recently, at a national industry conference, the hallways were buzzing with stories about fraud schemes. One story, in particular, made everyone stop and think: "What would I do?"...

The Old Republic Title Blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. The information in this Blog is intended for general information and educational purposes only. Old Republic Title does not guarantee, and assumes no responsibility for, the accuracy, timeliness, correctness, or completeness of the information herein. Any conclusions readers draw from the information contained herein are their own and are not to be attributed to Old Republic Title. Always seek the advice of competent counsel with any questions you may have regarding title insurance or any other legal issue. The information on this Blog may not be quoted or referred to in any manner without the prior written consent of Old Republic Title, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request reprint permission for any of our publications, please contact us. This website may contain hypertext links to information created and maintained by other entities. Old Republic Title does not control or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this outside information, nor is the inclusion of a link to be intended as an endorsement of those outside web sites.