What Is a Title Search?
The title search is a very important part of any sale of property or mortgage. Lenders almost universally require a title search, which is an examination of records kept at your county office to determine the title history of the property in question. Your real estate attorney in College Station can conduct the title search for you and help you with other aspects of your commercial or residential real estate transaction.
The Purpose and Scope of a Title Search
Title searches are conducted in order to protect the interests of both the purchaser and mortgage holder. Their purpose is to determine whether any claims, liens, title claims or judgments are active against the property, and to make sure that the seller is the legal owner, and thereby legally able to sell the property. Without a thorough title search, the purchaser or mortgage holder's interest in the real estate could be jeopardized, should the title be clouded.
When the title search is conducted various documents are examined. While not all searches are conducted in the same way, in general the following will be reviewed:
- The chain of title/ownership
- Records of property taxes paid
- Legal description of the real property
- Public and court records
- Any outstanding liens on the property
- Easements that exist on the property
It should be noted that the existence of an easement does not necessarily preclude sale of a real property. Many easements are mutually agreed upon and benefit both parties.
Matters That a Title Search May Not Uncover
While a title search is meant to be thorough, it might not reveal fraud, clerical errors, wills that are probated improperly, and forgeries. In addition, a full coverage or limited coverage search may be conducted. Usually a full coverage search is made when an actual sale of the property is being conducted.
One way to protect against problems that are not uncovered by a title search is the purchase of title insurance. While the risk involved may not be high, the loss to a purchaser can be substantial – in some cases, costing the purchaser the sale.
An Attorney Can Help Ensure That the Title Search Is Thorough and Proper
It is important to work with an attorney when you are involved in the sale of a property, especially when it is commercial. Your College Station real estate lawyer will conduct the title search and assist with other matters in the transaction. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.