See below for answers to our most common questions.

What is a real estate closing?
Also known as a settlement, a real estate closing takes place when a third party such as an attorney or Title Company provides oversight in the transfer of property from the seller to the buyer, assuring that the terms of the purchase agreement are met. This “closing agent” also acts as the repository for documents and monies, disbursing them to the appropriate parties at the end of closing.
What is escrow?
Escrow is when the closing agent holds funds, documents, securities, or other property for the seller and buyer during the process of the real estate transaction. When the deal is complete, the closing agent releases the documents and funds so held to the appropriate parties.
What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is issued by a title company in order to protect the property owner against loss if it is discovered that the title to the property contains a defect. In the event the insured owner suffers a monetary loss due to a lien or other title defect, the title insurer defends the insured against a lawsuit, or provides reimbursement up to the amount of the title insurance policy.
What is a Title Search?
A title search is a review of all public documents pertaining to a specific piece of property in order to determine the present state of the title. This can involve documents from the county recorder, the county assessor, and various taxing agencies. Depending on the number of documents and their complexity, a title search could take days or weeks to complete. It is best to have a knowledgeable attorney review the results for potential problems.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs can vary from transaction to transaction; however, typical closing costs include: transfer taxes, notary fees, escrow, title search, commissions, recording fees, prorations (divisions of financial responsibility between buyer and seller), and title clearance (removing liens to title).
What types of financing are available?
Security Settlement Services, Inc. specializes in preparing residential and commercial closings in addition to conventional, FHA, VA, and PHFA, loans. We offer financing for commercial ventures and construction loans, as well as bond financing through the PA Industrial Development Agency.
What is a purchase agreement?
A purchase agreement clearly defines the terms of the sale and what must happen before the property changes hands. It defines contingencies, such as what happens if a requirement is not met and the agreement must be cancelled, or who pays for property inspection and any defects uncovered during the inspection.
Can I sell my property without the assistance of a real estate agent?
FSBO, or “For Sale by Owner” real estate transactions are becoming more popular and may amount to as much as 17% of home sales. While you may be able to handle many of the details without a real estate agent, it is advisable to employ the services of a settlement company such as Security Settlement Services, Inc. to ensure that the title transfer does occur in a proper and equitable fashion.
What is your service area?
At Security Settlement Services, Inc., the areas in which we do business primarily include: Allegheny County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County, the Pittsburgh area, Southwestern and Northern PA, including the communities of Bethel Park, Churchill, Edgewood, Fox Chapel, McKeesport, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, North Versailles, Oakmont, Plum, Swissvale, Turtle Creek, Wexford, White Oak, and Wilkinsburg in Allegheny County; Butler, Cranberry, Harmony, Saxonburg and Zelienople, in Butler County; California, Charleroi, Monongahela and Little Washington in Washington County; and Irwin, North Huntingdon, Greensburg, Latrobe, Ligonier, Monessen, Mount Pleasant, New Kensington, Arnold, Trafford, Hempfield, Penn-Trafford, and Unity Township in Westmoreland County.
Does Security Settlement Services, Inc. handle commercial closings?
Security Settlement Services, Inc. provides title searches and title abstract reviews for commercial real estate. A registered title agent, Security Settlement Services, Inc. issues title insurance policies to both lenders and purchasers. We offer financing for commercial ventures and construction loans, bond financing through the PA Industrial Development Agency, and commercial escrow services. We also work with acquisitions, divestitures, and capitalization.
What happens at closing?
On the day of closing, the buyer makes a final deposit into escrow and signs any final loan documents and conveyance documents. The seller signs the deed to property and closing statements, then the deed is exchanged for the agreed upon purchase price. The deed to property and any mortgage documents are taken to the county court house. The deed is mailed to the buyer from the recorder’s office after being officially entered into the public record.