Buying a Home? Why You Need a Title Search
When purchasing a house, your agent will walk you through all of the things that need to be done to close on the home. While many of them may seem confusing, they are quite necessary to ensure that the home you're buying is free of any potential problems. One process that is done is the title search. Here is what you need to know about it and why it is so important.
You Could Find Public Record Mistakes
Public records are not always accurate because they are manually entered when changes are made. This means that there can be major clerical errors on a title to a home, which have a big impact on you legally when you own your home. For example, public records could indicate that your home will be clear to purchase, but when doing a title search, it may be discovered that a seller from many years ago was not legally allowed to sell the home. This means that the home still belongs to somebody else, which will cause a big problem for you trying to purchase it.
There Could Be Liens on the Property
Liens are an aspect that are sometimes overlooked in a home's documentation. If the previous owner had a debt that was not paid back with the home as collateral, and you purchased the home from them, you would actually be responsible for paying back that debt. The consequence is that the home could be taken away from you if you don't repay the debt, so it effectively becomes your responsibility or else you'll lose the house.
There Could Be an Unknown Heir to the Property
The probate process can be very complicated, especially when dealing with property that is left to others. If your home was ever passed on in an estate, it's possible that the rightful heir to the property may not have been notified. Even if the house was bought and sold since then, the heir would still have a legal claim to the property.
There Could Be a Neighbor That Claims Partial Ownership
Part of the home buying process is getting a land survey done, which will help determine exactly where your property begins and ends. If errors in a land survey were made, a neighbor may believe they have a claim to part of the property you are purchasing. This will be discovered in the title search, where the official documentation regarding the property lines is listed.
For more reasons why a title search is important, speak with your real estate agent.