Accurate ownership verification provides legal clarity and security. It also enables informed decision-making regarding property transactions, mortgages, and real estate investments.
Attorneys can draft contract addenda and non-standard legal documents that facilitate settlement. They can also help resolve complex title problems that could prevent or delay settlement. They can even perform the duties of a title agent.
Conducting a Comprehensive Examination of the Title
A thorough examination of a property’s title is critical for buyers and sellers alike. Buyers must obtain a clear and marketable title, while sellers must verify that their ownership rights are free from liens or encroachments.
Encroachments are a common problem that can affect the value and use of a property. For example, a neighbor’s fence that crosses into your yard may be considered an encroachment.
Knowing the basics of title examination, how to conduct a comprehensive search, and what types of liens or encumbrances to look out for empowers you to participate confidently in real estate transactions. This way, you can avoid future legal complications and enjoy a smooth, seamless transaction.
Checking for Liens or Encumbrances
As they work through the closing process, title attorneys near me verify legal documents and assist buyers with understanding their purchase agreements. They also help lenders prepare paperwork and obtain payoffs to clear titles.
Buyers and mortgage lenders often require a separate opinion of title for reasons other than obtaining a loan. These opinions cover various issues, from encroachments to easements or mineral rights.
Attorneys have an advantage over title agents regarding these opinions, as they can provide legal answers and correct any problems found in the home title. It protects the seller and buyer from costly issues arising after a closing.
Examining the Chain of Title
The chain of title shows the historical transfer of property ownership for a home. It includes the current owner, previous owners, and all transfers. A title company examines this information as part of a title search and can provide a report on the findings. You can then purchase title insurance to protect yourself from future claims against the property.
The title expert will go through public records to verify ownership and look for liens (a legal claim on assets that allows the holder access to them) or restrictions, like an easement or covenant. They will also review the deed.
Identifying Issues in the Chain of Title
Regarding real estate, property titles offer legal documentation of ownership rights. These rights include using, transferring, and selling the property. Unfortunately, several issues can affect the chain of title, including liens and easements.
To identify previous owners and verify the chain of title, a title company conducts an extensive search of public records and legal documents. It includes reviewing the deed, tracing previous ownership, checking for ownership history gaps, and identifying existing liens or encumbrances. Fortunately, several legal remedies are available to resolve issues in the chain of title.
Resolving Issues in the Chain of Title
A property’s title offers legal documentation of ownership. Title companies examine the chain of title, a historical account of how a property was conveyed from owner to owner, for flaws that must be resolved before a sale occurs. These flaws may include liens that should have been paid off and recorded, such as contractors’ or homeowners’ association liens.
A transparent chain of title protects the property rights of current and future owners, allowing them to obtain financing and insurance coverage. It also helps them avoid disputes over boundary lines and other property issues. Errors in the chain of title can be corrected by bringing a quiet title action or filing a corrective deed.
Providing Legal Advice
Buyers and sellers frequently have questions that title attorneys can answer during real estate transactions. They can help resolve these issues and support a smooth, legally sound transaction.
In addition, they draft legal documents, including contract addenda and modifications to standard forms specific to the property and parties involved in the deal. It is something that title companies cannot do because it would be considered an unauthorized practice of law.
Suppose the title search and survey reveal a potential problem. In that case, the attorney can provide sound legal advice and prepare curative documents to ensure the parties can close, which saves time and money for all involved in the transaction.