In the head-spinning process of buying a home, one of the most critical documents to a smooth transition from seller to buyer is the title report. With a legal document called a title, a homeowner can provide proof of ownership and verify the legal status of the property.
A title report is designed to disclose a property’s most important information and is intended to ensure a property is free of any legal defects that could potentially decrease the land’s value. When buying your new home, it is crucial you know who you’re buying from and that they legally have the right to sell it to you.
What is a Title?
A “title” refers to legal rights of ownership. If you are a first-time homeowner, you may be familiar with a title for your vehicle. This ownership is verified by a legal document like a bill of sale, certificate of title, or deed. This title can be owned by a single individual, a married couple, or business partners. The information disclosed in a title report includes:
- County information
- Zoning laws
- Property value
- Current tax information
- Legal description of the property
- Chain of ownership
- Unreleased or open mortgages
Reviewing a property’s title is an essential step in the home buying process. This is to ensure the person selling it to you genuinely has legal rights to sell the property. By doing your due diligence, you will avoid any future trouble questioning your ownership.
A “Title” is a legal document proving ownership of a property.
Watch For These Issues in a Title Report
A title report will reveal defects that could interfere with the transfer of property ownership. You have a choice in title, so you’ll want to choose a reputable company that knows what potential issues may be discovered with the home’s history and title.
These are some of the most common issues our title specialists see:
Public Record Errors
Official documents are written by people and people can make mistakes. Make sure to conduct a thorough read-through of the deed to check for any clerical or filing errors. These can affect the validity of the document.
Banks or other financing companies could place a lien on the property as collateral for outstanding debt from the last owner. Make sure there are no outstanding liens on the report.
It’s unfortunate to say, but many people will go to great lengths to forge documents. False records have found their way into public records, making it challenging to prove rightful ownership of a property.
Occasionally, a deceased property owner’s assets may be sold if the owner dies without a will. If a will is eventually discovered, the new property owner’s legal claim is put at risk. Often homes may be held up in probate court after a person passes, and the heirs can’t legally sell the property yet.
As some people forge documents, others falsify entire identities. If you buy a home from someone who is falsely impersonating the rightful owner, the legality of your ownership is threatened.
A third party may own or have liability on the property. This may limit the use of the property and lower the value.
At True Concept Title, we will protect you from running into any title defects, liens, or other problems. Contact us today for a smoother home-buying process.
Public Record Problems > How Clerical Errors Can Impact Your Title
Steps to Getting a Title Report
Before taking any other steps, gather the information you currently have about the property. Then, go to the local courthouse and search through the property deeds, working to establish a chain of ownership of the property. The Country Assessor may have more information to help you locate the actual title.
While it is possible to obtain a title report for a property on your own, it can often be a complicated matter that is best checked over by a professional. The language of a title report may not be straightforward. Issues and other technicalities are easily missed.
If you aren’t 100% confident in your ability to complete a thorough title investigation, we recommend hiring an experienced title officer like us to avoid any unspotted defects.
Protecting Your Biggest Asset with True Concept Title
By receiving a thorough title report and purchasing title insurance, you will avoid any potential problems that may arise in the future regarding the ownership of the property. Our team will ensure that your title is protected by law.
For quick, dedicated, and centralized work, call True Concept Title today at (813) 263-7168 to speak with our experienced title and escrow specialists.