If you have ever bought or sold a property, then you likely are somewhat familiar with a property title search. The property title search is typically conducted after an offer to purchase real estate has been accepted. Throughout this process, multiple sources are searched including deeds, county land records, tax liens on the federal or state level, divorce cases, bankruptcy court records, and other financial judgments against an owner that could potentially attach to a property. The goal of the property title search is to confirm that the property owner has clear title. In other words, the clear title amounts to proof that the current owner has full and sole ownership rights at their own will over the respective property. Subsequently, the owner can freely transfer this title to the buyer without legal issues.
Why are property title searches important?
The property title search is a critical step in the process of transferring property from the seller to the buyer.
For sellers: In order to sell your property, you must have “marketable title”. Marketable title means that there are no defects that might cause a lawsuit or someone to challenge your right to own the property. Defects may include but are not limited to someone else claiming title to or having liens on the property.
For buyers: The property title search is a vital step in the home buying process. For starters, this process determines who exactly owns the property. In addition, this process also ensures all existing liens, loans, child support, and judgments are disclosed (and dealt with prior to the close of escrow). For example, if a seller has a judgement of $50,000 against them and the property was purchased by the buyer without being paid off, it becomes the obligation of the new property owner. Needless to say, this is the last thing that a new property owner wants to deal with.
As with any real estate transaction, we always recommend having a real estate attorney as part of your home buying or home selling team. The importance of a clear property title can not be overstated. The average title search process should take between 10 – 14 days. Of course, this process may take longer in the event that problems are discovered. Regardless, this is a critical step in the home buying or selling process.
At Live South Florida Realty, Inc. we have assisted many clients with their real estate needs. Are you looking to buy or sell a property in South Florida? Now more than ever, it is critical to have a qualified real estate team and the proper search tools behind you. Live South Florida Realty, Inc., has been a leader in the South Florida market for many years. Let our team of professionals assist you with buying or selling your piece of paradise today! In addition, our recently launched “Florida Home Search” app is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. With real-time MLS feeds, this app lets you set your own alerts to notify you as soon as a property meeting your needs hits the market. Furthermore, it will also let you know of recent closed sales in your area so that you may be even more educated on the market. Be sure to download this app for your smartphone or tablet today!