Scott Title Services has been offering the highest quality in property title search services for over two decades to clients throughout New Jersey. One of the common questions we are asked by our clients about this process is: how long will the title search take?
A title search in New Jersey usually takes about between three and five days. However, the amount of time can vary greatly depending on the situation. Here is some background information to help explain this process and give you an idea of what to expect.
What is a Property Title Search?
A property title search is the process of gathering documents that show who has the legal right to own a real estate property and, through that ownership, to sell it. This is an important step in the home buying process, and takes place once the purchase agreement is signed.
While it may seem obvious that the person selling the home is the legal owner, there may be hidden claims or liens on the property by other parties that the seller and buyer may be completely unaware of. To avoid any last minute surprises and guarantee that the buyer of the property becomes the sole owner once the purchase is complete, a title search is critical to ensuring any property transaction goes smoothly for all parties.
Understanding The NJ Title Search Process
Once an offer to buy a piece of real estate property has been accepted, the title company begins the process of thoroughly examining documents to make sure that the property is clear of any title issues that would affect the transfer of ownership, including but not limited to:
- Pending lawsuits
- Unpaid taxes
Some examples of the documents a title company will examine during the search include:
- Divorce cases
- County land records
- Bankruptcy records
- Any other financial judgments related to the property.
If the title search is “clear,” the buyer and lender agree that there are no outstanding issues that could appear once the ownership has been legally transferred.
The title search process may also include a property survey to determine the dimensions of the plot of land the property is located on and to ensure that the property is actually located within those boundaries.
Once the title search is complete, the title company will know the history of ownership of the property in question. Based on this history, the title company will prepare a summary of the findings, known as an Abstract of Title. A legal document called a Title Opinion Letter will then be issued that demonstrates the validity of the title. If the title is considered valid, the title company can then proceed to issue title insurance.
How Long Does a Property Title Search Take?
A title search can take anywhere from a few hours up to five days to complete. There are several factors that can affect the time frame, including:
- The number and availability of documents that need to be reviewed
- The age and transaction history of the property
- The presence of any unresolved liens or other title issues
- The type of property and nature of the transaction
At Scott Title, we will answer all of your questions and keep you informed during every step of the title search process. We have built a reputation for conducting rigorous, thorough and accurate New Jersey property title searches. Our in-depth research sets us apart from others in our industry. Contact Scott Title Services today to learn more about our services.