Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Our goal at Wilkins & Ivey is to make the residential real estate closing process as easy and smooth as possible for our clients.  We hope these FAQs will help!


Why close with Wilkins & Ivey?

Our staff has over 125 years of combined experience in the title services industry, including our attorney who has worked in the area of residential real estate law consistently since 1983. Closings are conducted either by an attorney or by a licensed paralegal. We don’t order our title searches from a title company, as we have two full-time title examiners on our staff, both with law degrees. If you need information about the title before listing your property or contracting to buy a property, we can get that information for you quickly. We understand that you are making one of the most significant investments of your life and want to make the process as pleasant and efficient as possible.

How will my closing be scheduled?

We will work with all parties to coordinate a time for closing. Generally the Buyer/Seller or Buyer/Seller’s agent will call and schedule with us. Closings are generally scheduled on the hour beginning at 9:00 AM with the latest closing scheduled at 4:00 PM.

How much will my closing cost?

There are a variety of costs associated with completing the closing transaction for buying or selling a home.  Costs will vary depending on a number of criteria and at present are summarized on the HUD-1, a form required by the federal government.  These costs include:


  •     Real Estate Broker Commission/Fees

  •     Loan Fees - Direct Loan Costs

  •     Items Required by the Lender to be paid in advance (a/k/a "Prepaids")

  •     Title and Closing Charges

  •     Recording/Government Filing Fees

  •     Other, Miscellaneous Charges


Your realtor can give you an estimated cost of closing based on your specific purchase or sale.

What will I need to do to prepare for closing or bring to closing?



  • Contact your insurance agent and arrange for homeowner’s insurance.

  • Work with your lender to get financing in order.

  • Arrange for wiring any personal funds you will bring to closing to our trust account.

  • Contact utility companies to set up service.

  • Arrange for termite and home inspections within the time provided in your contract.

  • Let us know if any purchasing party will not be available for closing so we may prepare a power of attorney and have it approved by your lender.

  • Bring two forms of photo identification to closing.




Call us with the following information:

  • Account numbers and lender phone numbers for mortgage loans to be paid off as a part of closing.

  • The last six (6) numbers of your social security number (in order to get payoff).

  • Contact information for the person or company who manages your homeowners’ association.

  • To tell us if an owner of the property has died, the owners of the property have since divorced or that you are planning on using a power of attorney for closing.

  • Send us a copy of your old title policy by fax or email (POTENTIALLY SAVES YOU MONEY).

  • Schedule with movers and a cleaning service.

  • Call utility companies to have utilities taken out of your name.

  • Bring a driver’s license or other photo ID to closing.


Am I required to buy title insurance?

If you need a mortgage to acquire a property, you must buy a policy to insure your lender. All mortgage lenders require protection for an amount equal to the loan amount. It lasts until the loan is repaid.

Do I need an owner’s title insurance policy?

Yes. The lender’s policy does not insure your equity in the property and ceases to exist once the loan is paid. An owner’s title policy insures you as long as you have an interest in or any obligation with regard to the property. Buying a home may be the biggest investment you ever make and you need to be sure your ownership is secure and that any and all title issues are settled prior to closing. Title insurance is the only insurance you will ever purchase which requires the insurer to investigate and cure defects prior to issuing the policy. There may be hidden title defects that even the most careful title search will not reveal. In addition to protection from financial loss, title insurance pays the cost of defending against any covered claim.


For more information, please click on and download one of the following articles:


Do I really Need Title Insurance

The Cost of Title Insurance is Worth the Investment

What Every Realtor Should Know about Title Insurance

Comparison of Standard Owner’s Title Policy and Homeowners Enhanced Owner’s Title Policy

Who pays the cost of title insurance?

The custom varies from county to county in Tennessee. In most middle Tennessee counties, the seller pays the cost of owner’s title insurance for an existing home and the buyer pays for owner’s title in the case of new construction. The cost of the insurance is based on the price of the home. If the lender’s policy is issued at the same time as the owner’s policy, the cost of the lender’s policy is generally nominal, approximately $50.

What is Wilkins & Ivey’s role in the closing?

If we are closing only one side of a residential real estate transaction, or if an engagement letter has been issued by us and approved by you, we can advocate your side of any contested issues.  If we close for both Buyer and Seller, our services are limited to handling the closing as escrow agents.  Our duties will include providing title insurance, accounting services, trust or escrow services and real estate counseling.  These services are “law related” but are not legal services in the traditional sense.  Details of the transaction will be confidential as to anyone not involved, but attorney-client privilege will not apply.  If we are closing a loan we will be acting for the lender as well as the buyer and/or seller and must disclose to any party anything we know which affects their interest.  If a conflict develops we may explain documents and mediate as a neutral, but may not become the advocate of either party.  You are entitled to seek independent legal advice at any time.  If you have specific concerns about representation, please call us before closing.