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Why do you need to conduct a title search?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2024 | Real Estate

When buying a home, one step that many people take is to conduct a title search. They want to investigate the home’s title and its legitimacy before closing.

What the title search is doing is looking to see if there’s a clean title for the property or if there is a “dirty” title that may have certain issues with it that need to be resolved. This can make the transaction more complex, and doing the title search in advance helps things go smoothly. But what types of issues is it looking for and why do you need to carry this out?

Other ownership claims

The issue is that someone else may claim ownership of that property. If the title is clean, it means the seller does have the right to sell it and transfer ownership to the buyer. But a dirty title means that there may be questions about that ownership, which can stall the process.

For example, perhaps the homeowner is behind on their mortgage payments. The seller claims that they have the right to sell the house, but the bank claims that they’ve already started foreclosure proceedings and that they now own the house.

Another example could be if the home was included in an estate plan. For instance, maybe it was left to two siblings by their parents. One sibling is trying to sell the house, but it’s a joint ownership situation. They don’t have the right to sell it on their own, as that would infringe on the other owner’s rights and deprive them of their portion of the proceeds.

Leave nothing to chance

These are just two potential examples, but they show the importance of carefully considering every step of the legal process while buying or selling a home. Those involved should leave nothing to chance and protect their investment.