Unless you are the first-time buyer of a newly built home, any residence that is on the market should have a recorded history of events for the buyer to review. These events may include tax penalties, changes in ownership and possibly mechanic liens. If you enter a home purchase without first reviewing the history of the title, you may end up liable for additional financial obligations. In severe cases, you may not even be allowed to keep the home. This is why having a professional conduct a title search is essential to your house investment.
What Is A Title Search?
A title search is an investigation into the previous events that have occurred about the home’s title. This delves into who were the previous homeowners, confirming that all dues, taxes and money owed against the home have been paid. A common issue that title searches are looking for is whether the current owner has the right to sell the property to you from the start.
Earlier mistakes on the deed caused by fraud, forgery or errors can result in problems. The person who is currently in charge of the home may not be considered the legal owner which means they may not have the authority to sell the home to you. This is one of the more critical reasons why conducting a title search before closing can protect you.
Do You Need A Title Search?
A title search is a simple way to ensure that the history of your pending new home is in the clear. Without one, you could find yourself responsible for anything that remains attached to that property including liens, where a debt is still owed when the home is sold. If you buy a residence that still has liens, you will be responsible for paying those debts in full, even if you had no hand in creating them.
A title search will also reveal (and prepare you to resolve) issues such as boundary disputes or easement problems. This search also ensures that the person selling the property is the legal owner. If they are not, and you have purchased the house, it may be taken away from you.
Won’t A Title Search Happen Automatically?
Some people choose to skip a title search because they think that it happens automatically during closing which is not necessarily true. While some reviews of a property’s title may naturally occur with the purchase—for example, as part of buying the lender’s title insurance policy—these reviews may not always be as thorough as an actual title search. Additionally, it is in your interest to perform a search before closing, so that in the event of title issues, you have not already committed your money to the property.
How Long Does It Take To Do A Title Search?
A title search is a relatively quick process, especially if the title is clear. In general, a thorough title search should take no more than two weeks, with many requests being fulfilled much sooner. The process can take longer if issues are discovered with the title, or if any measures need to be implemented to clear the title. For example, if the title is unclear due to missing paperwork from the past or other issues, expect to allow your title search experts some extra time to resolve the problem.
In many cases, you may also choose to wait extra time if you would like a more thorough search that includes options such as property inspections. This can help you to shore up your knowledge about property lines to prevent or easily resolve disputes later.
Correcting a title can take extra time, but once completed, you have the assurance that you have a clear title that legally grants ownership to you once the purchase transaction is complete. This is why having a title search and purchasing title insurance to protect yourself against issues that are discovered are worth your attention.
Trust The Experts To Help You Confirm Your Home’s Title Before You Buy
If you are ready to move forward with a property and make sure that the title is clear before you buy, be sure to trust the experts who have experience in conducting thorough and complete title searches. The professionals at Mathis Title Company will gladly help you with any of the problems that may arise with a home’s title, and can insure you against potential financial loss due to issues found along the way. Contact our expert team to schedule an appointment.