A title search is one of the essential steps you’ll need to take as a prospective home buyer. If you don’t ensure that no taxes are owed on the property you’re interested in, or that it’s not collateral for a financial claim held by someone else, you stand to lose your down payment or even more.
A title search at its most basic proves that the person selling you the property has the legal right to do so. It also can uncover the presence of unpaid back taxes or other assessments such as an unpaid sewer bill or an assessment levied by the municipality for work done on the sidewalk, for example.
Any unpaid taxes or assessments tied to the property can impact the rights of the person selling the home to do so legally. This can land him and possibly you as well in some serious legal trouble.
A title search will also indicate whether anyone else, like a neighbor or the local utility company, has the right to use some or all of the property. An easement granted to a neighbor might provide access to his garage or outbuilding that he can’t reach otherwise. The utility company might have the legal right to place utility poles on the property. Any problematic issues will become evident when a thorough title search is performed.
You might think that a title search is an easy task, but you would be wrong. That’s why mortgage firms work with dedicated title search companies when collecting the necessary paperwork to prove the title to a property doesn’t contain anything that would prevent its sale.
While the records that are part of every title search are available to the public, knowing what those records mean is something most people don’t understand. Even people who have taken the time to educate themselves on property liens can miss important information that could hinder or prevent a property sale.
More importantly, individuals don’t have access to Errors and Omissions insurance. This type of insurance, which is carried by title companies, protects a consumer from the fallout of inadvertent problems in the research of a property’s title. Without it, the potential for significant financial loss is much greater.
Do you need help sorting through your title service needs? Contact Beaches Title and allow us to help you in this very important process.