When a home is purchased, the title and deed of that home are transferred to the new owners. A title is the legal right to ownership of a property, including the right to sell. It is important to have a lawyer or title company perform a title search to search for any defects.
What is a title search?
A title search examines public records of a specific property to determine its rightful owner. It also finds any liens or claims against the property that could affect someone from purchasing it.
Why should I have a title search done?
- Confirm the property’s legal address
The first step in the title search process is to determine the property’s legal address. If the legal description was entered in the contract incorrectly, the buyer may be purchasing a different property or no property at all. This is particularly important for land purchases, where the property is only described with it’s legal name.
- Find any easements
An easement is a right to use or enter land without possessing it. If the current owner is aware of any easements on their property, they are required to disclose them. However, there may be easements that they don’t know about. If this is the case, a title search will reveal them.
Pictured Above: A Right of way easement. The owners of the dominant estate have to cross over the servient estate to get to their property.
- Detect any liens
A lien is a legal claim or right against a property to secure a payment of a debt. For example, if a previous owner of the property failed to pay their property taxes, the IRS could put a lien on their home. Liens are stuck to the property until the debt is paid.
- Determine any bylaws
Bylaws are rules and regulations set by a community or organization. Homeowner’s Association (HOA) rules are examples of bylaws. A title search will discover any unknown bylaws.
In conclusion, it is imperative to do a title search before closing on a home, as it gives the buyer the complete history of the home. If you’re looking to buy a home, The Realty Group Team would love to help! Call/Text Teresa Grant (434) 546-3202.