Interview with a Murfreesboro Real Estate Attorney
In this edition of Tuesday Morning Coffee John Jones interviews Murfreesboro real estate Attorney Adam Dodd. Ever wonder why you need Title Insurance? Find out in this Tuesday Morning Coffee.
JOHN: Hey, John Jones here with another edition of Tuesday Morning Coffee. Today, guys, I’ve got a great man with me here today, Adam Dodd, who’s an attorney here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. And I’ve gotten to know Adam over the years because he does a lot of real estate law along with a lot of other things. He also owns a great title company that we use quite a bit called Advance Title. And if you want a good title company, it’s one of the best. And it’s also co-owned by two attorneys, which always comes in handy if you ever have any issues.
But today, I was just going to ask Adam a couple of questions to help you guys out there in the public. The first question I have, Adam, is: What do you see from an attorney’s standpoint is one of the biggest problems or issues that people have to call you over as far as in regard to real estate law or things like that? What can you tell our public to be on guard for, something that’s prevalent that you see day to day in the business.
ADAM: Okay. Hey, John. Thanks for having me. I appreciate that.
JOHN: You’re welcome.
ADAM: Hey, the problem that I see is people will call me just before they’re about ready to close and they’ve come upon some issue that either they didn’t anticipate or that they thought had been settled in their contract and come to find out there’s some ambiguity in the contract. So the biggest thing that I would say is for your buying and/or selling, figure out the things that are important to you. Things that are important to you might not be important to me and vice versa.
So if there’s an issue about the property that you feel strongly about, that you can’t live without or can’t do without, don’t just assume that the boiler plate language takes care of it. Don’t just assume that the other person is going to agree with you and do what you want them to do. Make sure that those important things are written in that contract. And if it’s a complicated matter like acreage or other things like that, you might want to consult an attorney or your agent can step you through that and get that language in there and protect whichever side you’re on. But make sure that contract is clear about what’s going to happen if there’s a disagreement.
JOHN: It always goes back to the contract because I’ve called you on things before and said, “Adam, what do you think about this situation?” And the first thing Adam usually says is, “What does it say in the contract, John?” It always goes back to the contract. One question I have that was probably one of the most confusing things to me as a new agent and probably one of the most confusing things to the public is title insurance.
JOHN: Now we know that most banks make you have it if you get a loan, and they at least want it on the amount that’s being mortgaged.
JOHN: But what is title insurance and what does it do?
ADAM: Well, the first thing I would say about title insurance is you need to understand there’s two types. There’s owner’s policies and lender’s policies. Like you said, most banks when you get a loan to purchase or refinance the home, they’re going to require you to have that title insurance. So if that tells you anything about banks and they usually take care of themselves.
JOHN: They’re usually covering their butt.
ADAM: Right. So they always get it. So if you buy the lender’s, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re covered as an owner. So if you want to have the same protection that the bank has, then you need to purchase an owner’s policy. It’s a little bit more expensive, but on the whole in proportion to the cost of the lender’s, which you’ll have to pay anyway, it’s usually not that much more. So depending on your situation, you might consider purchasing the owner’s on top of the lender’s if the bank requires.
What it does basically is whoever the insured is, whether it’s a bank or an owner or both, if some time later after you purchase the property or close or refinance there’s some defect in the title, some easement that runs through the property and makes it unusable, some prior owner, some claim from an estate, something that affects the title to the property or becomes a lien on the property, the insurance will provide you coverage for any loss and they also will provide you coverage for defending any claim brought by somebody that has some claim to the property.
JOHN: So if I’m an owner and I pay cash for a property and then 10 years later there’s a long-lost cousin of somebody who owned this property at one time comes back and says, “Hey, I didn’t get my fair share” and there’s a lawsuit and all of a sudden I’m involved in a lawsuit even though I had nothing to do with it, the insurance would cover my cost of defense.
JOHN: And if she won the lawsuit—
ADAM: Any loss.
JOHN: Any loss that I would have incurred.
ADAM: Right, right.
JOHN: That’s awesome. Good deal. Adam, thanks for being on with us today.
ADAM: You bet. Thanks for having me.
JOHN: I appreciate it. Ladies and gentlemen out there, if you ever have any reason to use a really good title company or need a good attorney, Advance Title is the title company. Adam Dodd, attorney at law, sharp as a tack, went to Harvard. Did you go to Harvard or Yale Law School?
ADAM: I went to both.
JOHN: There you go.
ADAM: I just went to both just to get them out of the way.
JOHN: The guy’s awesome, man. He is great. And I appreciate you being on today.
ADAM: Sure. Thanks, John.
JOHN: Thanks man.