Posted on: 8 September 2016
When your real estate agent mentions the title search as part of your closing process for the home you're buying, you might dismiss it as no big deal. A title search is a pretty standard procedure, but that doesn't mean that it should be overlooked in its importance. In fact, there are a few key reasons why it is in your best interest to work with a real estate attorney right from the start. Here are a few things you should know about what the title search process can do for you.
Discover Potential Filing Mistakes
Although we all strive to have accuracy in all of the paperwork, records, and documentation, human error does happen. Sometimes, you'll find that a single typo can significantly affect the records on file for the property. Ultimately, an error such as a mistyped property transfer could cost you ownership rights or potential claim on the property. The title search will include validating the existing public records on file for the property, so any errors like this will be addressed.
Reveal Undisclosed Property Liens
A title search will uncover any existing liens on the property, including those that may not have been disclosed by the owner. Sometimes these liens are the result of a loan that the prior owner failed to pay or other outstanding debts. If you buy the house before discovering things like this, you may still find yourself responsible for the balance as the new property owner. Talk with your real estate attorney about the title search before closing to resolve any outstanding debts with the current owner before you sign.
Locate Any Absent or Estranged Heirs
When you're buying property that's a part of a multi-component estate, you need to work with a real estate attorney on the title search to protect your financial interests. The attorney will help you to investigate the estate and any potential heirs that may have a claim on the property. It's in your best interest to do this before you sign the purchase contract, because a long-lost family member or estranged child could try to contest the sale and claim their own rights to the land. An investigation like this is the best way to locate people like this before you sign so that you can negotiate any issues or have them sign an authorization for the sale.
A real estate attorney can not only help you through the title search process, but also any legal negotiations that have to happen as a result of it. Don't try to go through this process alone, especially if there are any legal concerns that need to be addressed.Share