After finding a property you wish to purchase, a lender may require a title search before funding the transaction. As noted by Bankrate.com, it may take a few hours or up to 14 days to complete a title search. The process may involve reviewing property records at the county courthouse or clerk’s office.
Some counties provide property deeds and records online. The records may show a property’s plat map and location in the neighborhood. While the title search itself may delay the closing, the issues that arise from its results could also complicate or end the deal.
What issues may a title search uncover?
When buying real estate, you may wish to confirm that its current owner has the right to enter into a contract and sell the property. A clear title means that the property does not have liens or judgments filed against it. Common liens include claims for unpaid property taxes or construction work.
A break in the chain of title ownership may also raise issues that could stall a closing. Each time a property transfers ownership, the deed needs recording to show its new owner. As noted by Deeds.com, missing or inaccurate documents may indicate a fraudulent transfer. Without first fixing any issues, a lender may not fund the purchase.
What might occur if the search reveals property easements?
If a deed contains an easement or right of way, you must uphold it after the purchase. A deed might have a utility easement, which could allow a cable company to cross your property to access its system. Some deeds contain private easements allowing neighbors to use the land, such as for parking cars.
Real estate transactions may go more smoothly with a clear title search. If problems arise, you may negotiate the terms of a sale to include the costs of resolving the unexpected issues.