What is the point of a title search?

| Dec 15, 2020 | residential real estate | 0 comments

If you recently began the process to purchase a new residential property, there are a lot of facets to the process that you must finish before you legally own the property.  One of the aspects that some homeowners forego is the title search.

The Philadelphia Inquirer explains the importance of a title search before you close on a home.

The purpose of a title search

Title searches occur once you and the seller execute a contract. It is essentially a background check for your property. The person performing the search will examine public records and other documents to ensure that you can legally purchase the property. Some title searches may include looking back on records from 50 years ago.

Problems to uncover as soon as possible

When you perform a title search, you may find that there are liens on the property. These are legal claims on the property. Liens occur when a person uses his or her property as collateral but does not pay the debt. If the former owner also had unpaid property taxes, you do not want those to transfer to you. The former owner must pay his or her taxes.

If you purchased the property through an estate, your title search could uncover that other heirs have a right to the property. You need to ensure that he or she relinquishes all rights to the property beforehand. If the property underwent transfers several times before, you need to have all of the deeds in the chain. If any are missing, you can identify which and obtain them.