Posted on: 18 August 2020
Once you've found the home that's right for you, the real work begins. The time between the acceptance of your offer and the final closing meeting is chock-full of tasks for the homeowner-to-be to accomplish. After you agree on a purchase price, an estimated closing cost statement will become available. Among all the items listed is a very important but little understood cost and that is for the title search and insurance. To learn more about this, read below.
What To Know About Title Searches
When you buy a used car from a private owner, you expect to be given the title. The title is the official certificate of ownership and having a clear title means that there are no liens on the vehicle or no issues with who owns it. It's the same with a home. Understanding who owns a home can be a bit more complex, though. Homes last a lot longer than cars. Homes can be hundreds of years old and the land a home rests on can be...well, as old as the earth itself. For the fee due at closing, a title search is performed on the property you've chosen. Title searchers take a trip down memory lane as they research each and every previous owner to make sure that the people you think you are purchasing the home from actually own it themselves.
What Could Go Wrong?
Clerical errors make up the bulk of problems with home titles. The title information has to be perfectly correct. Unfortunately, another issue is fraudulent sellers. These are people who pretend to own a home but it's actually owned by someone else. That is why positive id is so important when the home title is presented. Another problem is homes that have been in a family for many years and the title has been lost. The title must be traced back through time using deeds filed at the courthouse when a home is sold, transferred, deeded, inherited, or given away to another family member. Finally, homes have to be free of liens. When a previous owner owes money, the creditor or the court might impose a lien on the home, preventing its sale. Buying a home with a lien is possible, but the lien has to be satisfied (or paid off) before the sale can go through.
Title insurance costs are based on the purchase price of the home and is a must-have. The insurance helps owners who must challenge anyone who comes forward claiming to own the home in the future. To find out more about home titles, speak to your real estate agent and they can put you in touch with the right agency for your title search services.