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Section 12: Closing by Title Insurance Company

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The right of way agent who negotiated for a particular parcel should also be TxDOT's representative during the closing of the transaction. In this manner better public relations can be maintained because the owner will have already made the acquaintance of the agent and thus will not be confronted with a stranger during this final transaction. It is preferred procedure for the right of way agent responsible to arrange for the property owner to attend the closing of the transaction at the specified time. Either the owner can be requested to meet the agent at the title insurance company, or arrangements may be made to personally meet and take the owner to the place of closing. It must be noted, however, that the parcel negotiator may not deliver the warrant.

Upon receipt of the state's warrant, immediately take steps to see that the transaction will be promptly closed and that an appropriate title insurance policy is issued. Except in cases where closing services by a title insurance company are not required, or in the case of distantly located owners, the closing procedure should be as shown in the following discussion.

The property owner, right of way agent, and title insurance company representative will personally meet at the title insurance company office or other designated place. The right of way agent should have:

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  • the warrant made payable to the owner and title insurance company;
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  • the deed for the parcel (if not previously executed and placed in escrow with the title insurance company); and
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  • the closing statement forms.

The owner will first be given full explanation of the transaction prior to requesting endorsement on the warrant in payment for the parcel. The warrant number should be entered on the closing statement, along with the payment breakdown. After approval of the deed by the title insurance company, the warrant should be endorsed by the owner with the understanding that the proceeds will be distributed according to the closing statement. The executed deed along with the state's warrant will be delivered to the title insurance company representative and the title insurance company will then make proper distribution of the proceeds of the warrant. The conveyance documents should be recorded immediately.

It is recognized that the prescribed closing procedure cannot be followed where out-of-state or distantly located owners are involved. Conveyance documents, closing statements, and other documents necessary to complete the closing of the purchase may need to be handled by mail without the necessity of the land owner attending the closing. In these situations ROW PD is responsible for ensuring that all procedures necessary to vest title in the State of Texas are complied with. The title insurance company or any other agency or person may be appointed by the owners as attorney-in-fact to endorse the state's warrant for said owners and make disbursement of the consideration. This should eliminate the need of circulating a warrant for the personal endorsement of several grantors where they are widely scattered or distantly located. Also, the owners may name and designate one owner as the payee and authorize TxDOT to issue its warrant payable to the owner so named. The procedure for appointment of a single payee or attorney-in-fact is outlined in Appointment of Single Payee or Attorney-in-Fact.

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