Survey: Title Agent Closing Cost Expense Increases $210 Per Loan

October 25, 2016

Title agents report that their cost to close a loan increased an average of $210 per transaction in the third quarter, according to First American’s Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI).

The RESI is based on a quarterly survey of independent title agents and measures their sentiment on a variety of key market metrics and industry issues.

Title agents noted the increase is not necessarily due to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID), but is the result of varied approaches to rule implementation taken by lenders.

 “These variances, they say, are forcing title agents to create different closing procedures for each lender with which they work, contributing to increased costs for title agents,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American.  

The increase cost per transaction varied dramatically by geography. In the third quarter, title agents in New York indicated the highest increase, at $539, while title agents in Oklahoma indicated the lowest increase at $25.

“Change continues to be difficult, and the implementation of the new processes and forms was a challenge for title agents as well as lenders, requiring significant investments in new technology and time,” Fleming added. “The challenges caused by inconsistent implementation continue to burden title agents with increased costs that can vary substantially by geography.”

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