It’s exciting to buy a home. It can be stressful and overwhelming, because there are many steps to take to reach the closing.
One of these steps is a title search.
You may think that the seller has the right to sell the home when you buy one. It’s not always true. You may find that someone else has a claim on the property.
A property title search can be useful in this situation.
What Happens during a Title Search?
A title search can be used to confirm that the property you are buying is owned by its legal owner. A title search will also reveal if there are any liens or claims against a property which could affect your decision to buy it.
A property title is not the same as a deed or a document.
The title refers to the concept of ownership rights.
A title company or attorney can perform a property search. They want to make sure that there isn’t another entity or person that could claim a stake on the home.
A title search is necessary if you are getting financing. Mortgage lenders will require you to do one before they approve your loan.
Who does a title search?
A title loan company or an attorney may do the search. The location of the home you are buying will determine who does the final search.
As a buyer after a contract has been signed, you can ask your attorney to order a title search. The attorney can complete the work or pass it on to a title company. The completed report is then sent to the seller’s agent. The seller’s agent is responsible for managing and resolving any issues that may arise.
You can find a variety of information sources when you conduct a title search.
County Land Records
* Property plats
* Tax Liens at the State and Federal Level
* Divorce records
* Bankruptcy court documents
* Construction liens
A title search will also reveal details about mortgages that are associated with the property.
How long does it take?
A title search could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks. The older the house you are looking to buy, the longer it will take for a title search because there may have been several owners and transactions.
What if there are issues?
Some of the issues that may arise during a title research include:
* A broken chain in the title. In this case, the chain may be missing a deed. This is common for older homes.
* Incorrect description on the deed. There could be an incorrect or missing description in a deed. This would require obtaining a correct deed.
* Missing interests. If there is a transfer through an estate, then the heirs of that property must have relinquished any interest. If they haven’t, you will need to obtain deeds to release the property from those who have an interest.
* Liens are a legal claim on a property that is often used to recover a debt. Title searches can reveal if a lien is on a property, and if it’s expired or if payment is required.
A title search is an important part of the home buying process. If you have any questions about the title search process or its results, speak to your Realtor.
It could be costly and stressful to deal later with a lien or judgment. If you buy a house and there is a judgment on it, then it could become your responsibility.