Common Title Terms

Real estate title can be confusing. We’ve compiled some terms and definitions that can help clarify things. If you don’t find your answer, call us any time at 330-477-3589!

Click on a term to expand the definition.

Binder (Commitment)

Preliminary title insurance document that includes requirements needed to issue the title insurance policy and lists any exceptions or exclusions not covered by the title insurance policy.

Cash to Close (Closing Funds)

This would be any monies needed to bring to closing. If the amount is over $10,000, state law requires the funds to be wired. If the amount is under $10,000, we accept a cashier’s check, certified check or money order made payable to Whipple Title Agency.

Also known as Ohio’s Good Funds Law

Closing (Settlement)

It can mean two things: it can be the meeting date/time where closing documents are signed, OR it can be the procedure where the deed and mortgage are recorded with the county

Closing Protection Coverage

a. An optional, additional insurance that protects any monies held by the title company. Theft, misappropriation, fraud, or any other failure to properly disburse settlement, closing or escrow funds; and

b. Failure to comply with any applicable written closing instructions, when agreed to by the Licensed Agent.


Transfer of title to land. Includes most instruments by which an interest in real estate is created, mortgaged, or assigned.


A written document by which an estate or interest in real property is transferred from one party to another.


A dower right is a real estate interest intended to protect a spouse who does not hold title.


Escrow is an arrangement in which a neutral third party, called an escrow holder, holds legal documents and funds on behalf of a buyer and seller. The escrow holder distributes funds and documents according to the buyer’s and seller’s instructions. By acting as a neutral third party, the escrow holder can facilitate the real estate closing.


a. “Having Taken Title As”

b. A way to sign a name if a party took title in a different name.

Judicial Reports

Preliminary reports are those filed at the time of the foreclosure complaint for the use and benefit of the guaranteed party, and the purchaser or the judicial sale. The report must reflect the name of the record owner, a legal description of the land, and a listing of all interests in the property that appear of record. Final Judicial Reports show the final status of the property prior to judgement and the foreclosure sale.


A legal claim on a property such as UCC liens, mechanic’s liens, Federal/State tax judgement liens, mortgages, home equity mortgages, etc.

Location Survey

A drawing or map showing the legal boundaries of a property, the location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features.

Mortgage or Deed of Trust

A written document by which the title to land is conveyed as security for the repayment of a loan or other obligation. It can be in the form of a home equity loan or line of credit and can be held by a financial institution or private party.

Real Estate Title

A title is the foundation of property ownership. It is evidence of the owner’s right to possess and use the property such as a deed or certificate of transfer.


The noting in the county recorder’s office of the details of a properly executed legal document, such as a deed, a mortgage, a satisfaction of mortgage, power of attorney, memo of trust and affidavits, thereby making it a part of the public record.

Settlement Statement (closing disclosure or HUD-1)

A statement prepared by a broker, title company, or lender, giving a complete breakdown of costs involved in a real estate sale. Separate statements are prepared for the buyer and seller.


When jointly owned property includes a right of survivorship, the surviving owner is granted the deceased owner’s share of the property.

Title Insurance

There are two types of title insurance. One type of policy covers the owner. The other policy type covers the lender. The owner’s policy provides the owner with protection in case an undiscoverable defect comes up after the title search. These title issues could include forgery, fraud, or clerical errors and without title insurance the owner could potentially lose the property. The Loan/Lender’s Policy is usually required by the lender who is financing the purchase. The lender’s policy only protects the interest of the lender. This title policy assures the lender that they’re protected against any outstanding liens and issues with property.

Title Search

Title Search is a search of all public records for a specific property.

Transfer on Death Affidavit

A recorded document showing the clear intent of the owner of real property to directly transfer the ownership of the real property upon the owner’s death to whomever the owner designates by name.

Contact US
Whipple Title Agency LLC
1149 Whipple Ave NW
Canton, OH 44708
Tel (330) 477-3589
Fax (330) 477-5300