When purchasing a home, conducting a title search is a critical step in the process. This search aims to uncover any issues that might affect the buyer’s right to the property.
A title search seeks to ensure that the property is free of any encumbrances or legal issues that could complicate the ownership transfer.
Common issues identified in a title search
Various issues can emerge during a title search. These may potentially delay or derail the home-buying process. Understanding these issues is vital for anyone involved in a real estate transaction.
- Liens against the property: A lien is a legal claim against a property by a creditor. If a lien is found, it must be cleared before the property can be sold.
- Encumbrances and easements: Encumbrances, like easements, can limit how a property is used or grant access to a portion of it to someone other than the owner.
- Disputes over boundaries: Sometimes, a title search reveals discrepancies in property lines or disputes over boundaries with neighbors.
- Errors in public records: Mistakes in public records, such as filing errors, incorrect deeds or clerical errors, can affect the deed or legal description of the property.
- Claims of undisclosed heirs: In some cases, previously unknown heirs of a former owner might emerge, claiming ownership of the property.
- Forgeries and fraud: Fraudulent or forged documents in the property’s history can call into question the legality of the ownership transfer.
When a title search uncovers these issues, they must be addressed before the sale can proceed. Resolving these problems might involve clearing liens, negotiating easements, rectifying public record errors or settling disputes over property boundaries. Having appropriate legal guidance is critical for anyone faced with this type of issue during the homebuying process.