Common Home Title Issues to Watch Out For

Why is a Title Search so Important?

A title is a legal document that includes the specifics about a property and who owns it. When a property is sold, title ownership is transferred to the buyer, indicating that they now own the property. A title search is performed to ensure that there are no issues. Because of this, title insurance provides protection well after you close your transaction. Every property has a history, and HomeHunt has laid out the most common title issues to watch out for:

Public Record Errors

Public record errors can affect your homeownership rights, and those mistakes can be devastating to the deed or survey of your property. This may cause you financial strain to resolve them. Additionally, forged or fabricated documents may be filed within public records, jeopardizing your ownership.

Unknown Liens

Banks or other financing companies can place liens on your property for unpaid debts by previous owners, even after you’ve closed on the sale. This is an especially worrisome issue with distressed properties.

Illegal Deeds

Prior deeds could cause enforceability issues if they were made by an undocumented immigrant, a minor, a person of unsound mind, or one who is reported as single but is actually married.

Unknown Heirs

When a person dies, ownership of the home may fall to those named in the will. However, those heirs are sometimes unknown or they may contest the will for their own property rights, affecting yours.

Legal Document Issues

If there is no apparent will or heir, the state may sell the previous owner’s home. When you then purchase that home, you assume your rights as owner. However, the deceased owner's will may come to light and your rights to the property may be seriously jeopardized.

Signing Deed

Undiscovered Encumbrances

In certain circumstances, a third party may hold a claim to all or part of your property, limiting its use.

Unknown Easements

An unknown easement may prohibit you from using your land as you'd like, or allow other parties to access your property.

Boundary/Survey Disputes

Other surveys may show differing boundaries, allowing neighbors to claim ownership of a portion of your property.

What is the Difference Between a Title and Deed?

Now that you know which issues to look for in a title search, it helps also to know the difference between a title and a deed. A title is a legal right to ownership, while the deed is the physical object that documents that rightful ownership. Make sure to consider the following for your title in order to receive the deed:

  • Purchase title insurance
  • Conduct a title search
  • Make sure that you physically possess the abstract of the title and store it safely

A home title issue can cause a delay in your closing date, or create financial strain after the transaction has ended. For help with home title issues, or to get started on your home search, contact a HomeHunt agent today!

Related Posts