Searching for A Home_ Before Falling in Love, Why A Title Search Should Be #1
The home-buying process is both an exciting and stressful time. Especially when touring homes, it can be hard to walk away without imagining your future life in that space. Many people describe walking into their future house as a moment where they “just knew” it was meant to be. But in the search for a new home, it’s not wise to start choosing paint colors before you have keys in hand. Before you fall in love with a house, take the time to perform a title search!
The title to a home refers to the legal ownership of a property, including all the rights and responsibilities that come with that ownership. It is not a physical document, but rather the acknowledgment of ownership. A title also determines who has the right to sell a home.
A title search aims to identify all relevant paperwork associated with a title in order to identify the person (or people) with a legal claim to ownership (and therefore, the right to sell). A title search can identify the current owners, any liens on the property, as well as outside claims to ownership. A title search also seeks to identify any errors in the title (such as mistakes in public record, fraud or forgotten easements) that could prevent a deed from successfully transferring the title, and therefore ownership.
Here’s a look at several scenarios that could play out without a title search:
- The buyer goes through the entire home-buying process, from first contract to home inspection to even securing insurance for their soon-to-be property. At the closing table, it comes to light that the person selling the home isn’t the legal owner, so the sale cannot go through.
- Unbeknownst to the buyer, there is a lien on the property for unpaid work on a previous renovation. While that updated kitchen or new walk-in shower might be part of what they love about the house, the buyer is going to be stuck paying for it twice: once in the purchase price of the home and a second time when they are forced to pay off the lien.
- The buyer has been house-hunting for months when the perfect house finally comes on the market! The previous owner passed away and now their estate wants to sell the property and move on. Unfortunately, the ink on the accepted offer isn’t even dry before a long-lost relative comes out of the woodwork with a copy of a will stating the deceased’s intent to will the house to them. Suddenly, making it to closing in a timely manner is out of the question.
- A buyer wants to settle down on a private, quiet cul-de-sac with a trail running behind their backyard. Hopefully they don’t get too comfortable though, because the neighbors have an easement right to cut through the yard in order to access the trail.
These are just a few of the scenarios that could play out without a title search. The title search experts at Clear Title have decades of experience under their belts, and will leave no stone unturned to ensure you are protected when purchasing a home. Call (850) 361-4029 or visit ClearTitleNWFL.com to schedule a meeting today.