If there’s one step that you should not skip when buying a property, it’s the title search. This step is crucial because without it, the buyer is at risk of property-related issues that might arise in the future. For one thing, a tax collector might send them a memo saying that the property tax has not been settled. Relatives or random people who claim original ownership of the property might also appear all of a sudden and the buyer won’t be able to defend himself or herself. There are so many hidden elements that need to be surfaced before buying a property and one of the ways to do that is through a title search.
A property title search reveals everything that a buyer needs to know, from previous ownership all the way down to issues like loans and bankruptcies. These details are essential in evaluating the real value of a property.
How It Works:
There are several methods in processing a property title search. More often than not, people ask dealers or local property consultants to do the title search. For your own safety, do a little bit of research before hiring property dealers to process the title search. Make sure they belong to a licensed company and that they have a good reputation. You can also ask your friends and relatives if there are people that they can recommend. There are so many scammers these days that’s why you need to be extra careful when it comes to hiring people.
Back in the day, people followed a traditional method of conducting the property title search. They would go to the location of the property they want to purchase, and gather all of the information they need to know. In the process, the also learned about additional details such as structures and facilities that are located near the property. Of course, transportations, railway stations, schools, and shopping malls add more value to the property.
Nowadays, buyers can easily process a property title search while sitting comfortably in their homes with the help of online property title search facilities. All they have to do is fill out the forms and the information is given to them within a few minutes. It’s very convenient because they don’t need to drive all the way to the location of the new property so they also don’t waste money on gas. To access these websites, certain fees need to be settled, and a registration process is required. The downside to this process is that there’s a high chance that the information from the online property title services is not updated and accurate. The only way to verify the information is by going to the new location.
The best way still, is to seek the help from a title company. Here’s how they will go about it:
Before issuing a title insurance policy, the company will first conduct a thorough title search. The process is tedious as it requires going through the county records to look at the history of the property. The good thing about this process is that it uncovers all of the items that need to be corrected and settled to clear the title.
The following are just some of the issue that will be uncovered during a title search:
Restrictions and Easements
Deeds that have misspelled or incorrect names and improper vesting
Improper notary acknowledgments
Outstanding tax liens, judgments, and mortgages
A preliminary report will be released by the company once they’re done doing the title search. Copies of the report will be given to the lender, buyer, and seller of the property so they can review and clear the defects that might be shown on the title policy.
The real estate agent will also take a look at the preliminary report from the title company. He or she will make sure that the name that appears on the report matches the names that are written on the purchase contract. This is because there are cases where unexpected owners appear out of nowhere, claiming that the property belongs to them. The only way to counter this is by presenting legal documents that show the right names.
The legal description and the plat map indicated in the report should also match the property address. There are owners who own two properties that are adjacent or across each other and this can cause confusing when it’s time to identify the correct property. Exceptions such as bonds, Mello-Roos assessment, current taxes, Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R), deeds of trust, and easement should also be verified. Ensure that the easements and CC&R’s won’t be interfering with the future plans of the buyer.
Sometimes, buyers tend to forego the option to conduct a title search because they want to avoid the hassle and they would rather spend their money on things that for them, are far more important. While that is understandable, skipping the title search also puts them at risk of serious property-related issues that might arise in the future that could have been avoided if things were settled early on in the transaction process. It’s the buyer’s way of protecting himself or herself from claims and other problems that’s why they need to be extra patient during the whole process. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, and that includes titles of properties.