Real Estate and Your Title Search

Real Estate and Your Title Search
  • Opening Intro -

    You have found the home that you want and it is now time to assemble the documents needed to bring your purchase to a close.

    As you assemble those documents, a title search will be conducted to ensure that the current owner has the right to sell the property to you.


Rarely does a problem occur, but you should understand how this process works for your peace of mind.


A title search is actually an examination conducted of public records to determine a property’s legal ownership. The search confirms ownership and also looks for claims on the property. If the proper is leased or rented out, the search would reveal the leasehold or rental agreement in addition to current liens.


Beyond confirming ownership, the title search takes a look at the property boundary to determine the precise size of the property. A sketch showing the property in relation to its neighborhood or subdivision is also usually included.


A title search should also reveal unusual details about the property that might otherwise be missed. For example, if there is a right-of-way present, that should be noted. If your property is near a factory, a noisy intersection or in the vicinity of the airport, those points should be addressed too. The last thing you want is to buy property near a pig farm and be unaware of the foul odor that sometimes shifts your way.


Not every property is purchased apart from certain constraints, namely restrictions that may impact what improvements you can make or how you may use your property. If your home is registered with the historical society, exterior improvements must be made in keeping with the home’s theme. If a home shares a common driveway with a neighbor, that restriction must be made known too. Keep in mind that an easement may also be in place, but it may not be a permanent one. In some cases a temporary easement is issued to allow a construction team to access your neighbor’s property by going through your own.


A title search is comprehensive, designed to ensure that you have full knowledge of its current owner and any claims against it. If the title search company leaves something out and your property is subsequently devalued, title insurance will cover your claim and ultimately protect your investment.

See AlsoFirst Time Home Buyer: Not as Easy as HGTV



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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".