No end in sight for Compass’s expansion in the title

Real estate brokerage Compass on Wednesday announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a title insurance company based in the Denver metro area Title of the First Alliance LLC, its fourth title insurance acquisition in the past year and its second this month.

According to Compass, the transaction should be finalized before the end of the year. Financial details of the deal are not being disclosed.

First Alliance Title was founded in 2014 by real estate professionals and currently has three locations in the Denver area.

This latest acquisition expands Compass’s securities and escrow services to California, Colorado, Florida, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC and Texas.

Compass began to expand in the securities and escrow space last October, when it acquired the Seattle-based securities and escrow software startup. Modus. Months later, the brokerage firm run by Robert Reffkin struck a deal with the Washington DC-based firm. KVS Title.

The brokerage’s latest expansion came just over a week ago, when it acquired a Dallas-based title insurance company. Title LegacyTexas.

Compass’s expansion into title and escrow services has not been smooth. In March 2021, the Washington State Insurance Commissioner filed an order revoking Modus’ insurance license for allegedly violating real estate regulations preventing property and escrow companies from giving to people doing business with the title insurer any form of direct or indirect payment, fees or rewards.

In June, the Washington state insurance commissioner fined Modus at least $ 15,000 for violating regulations, including those related to inducements and other untitled services offered to real estate agents. The company’s license is not revoked.

Compass has not shied away from achieving its goal of expanding to every part of the real estate transaction, including ancillary services such as mortgage, janitorial, bridging loans, title and escrow. The brokerage also announced in August that it would launch a mortgage joint venture with Guaranteed rate, called PointOrigin.

As more brokerages like Compass enter the title insurance industry, traditional “Big Four” title insurers Fidelity National Financial, First American Finance Corp., National Title of the Old Republic and Stewart Title have made their own acquisitions in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition.

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