Looking into county records is a good practice for both homebuyers and homeowners. Anyone preparing to sell a home would be well advised to do this. The recorder’s office is right in the home’s county, and many records are now available online. However, in order to obtain title insurance, though, which in turn enables a mortgage approval, the conveyance must undergo a licensed professional’s title search. Think of a title company’s search as part of an accountability trail. The people who conduct the search are themselves insured for any errors and omissions that could impact the title.
While you can theoretically find any publicly available information that a title company could find, it will take you much longer and you will not be protected by title insurance should something be revealed after the sale of the home. For this reason, it is recommended to work with an experienced title company when carrying out a property title search.
Understanding The Property Title Search Process
A thorough property title search usually consists of an extensive examination of public records. Certain crucial information may be difficult to access, especially without the help of an experienced title company. Most title companies today have methods of conducting these searches via large databases of indexed data that allow thorough title property title searches to be carried out faster and easier than ever before.
A property title search usually occurs once an offer to buy a piece of real estate has been accepted. The title company goes through a process of rigorously examining multiple sources to determine if the property is free of liens, pending lawsuits, unpaid taxes, leases, easements, mortgages, and other outstanding issues or restrictions that could impact the transfer of ownership. This includes looking at deeds, divorce cases, county land records, bankruptcy records, and other financial judgments potentially attached to the property. A clear property title search means the buyer and lender agree there are no outstanding issues that could crop up after ownership has been transferred.
Title Insurance Following a Property Title Search
Once a property title is considered legitimate, the title company will then issue title insurance. This insurance protects both property owners and lenders against losing the property due to defects such as liens, encumbrances, or errors as well as covering the costs of defending against future, unforeseen claims on the property.
Buying a home is usually the single largest investment most people make in their lifetime. Protecting that investment from issues of ownership and other hidden title defects is a smart added layer of security for any buyer.