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The value of proper title research before a purchase

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Title

State and federal real estate laws extend numerous protections to those acquiring real property. Buyers have the right to make informed decisions, thanks in part to seller disclosure requirements. Those listing real property for sale generally need to provide thorough disclosures about any known defects with the property. Buyers performing their due diligence before a purchase might make the mistake of focusing solely on the physical condition of the home rather than on its title history.

Another right extended to buyers looking at real property is the option of choosing who provides title research and insurance for the home. Those who understand the value of title research may also understand why working with local professionals instead of big companies that may rush through title research could be beneficial.

Why title research matters

In theory, the county recorder’s office maintains thorough records of ownership for individual parcels of real property. County records can provide information about easements and liens, as well as any individuals or businesses with an ownership interest in a property. Unfortunately, making sense of title records is more challenging than the average person might realize. There can sometimes be surprise title defects that only come to light after people acquire a property. At that point, they might face a title dispute brought by an outside party that may have a valid interest in the property.

The worst-case scenario in a title dispute situation is a property owner losing their interest in the real estate that they purchased. Buyer’s title insurance protects against the worst-case scenario by both paying for legal representation during title disputes and reimbursing people for the loss of home equity if the other party prevails in court. However, the usefulness of title insurance often depends on how thorough the title examination was prior to the real estate transaction. Buyers who partner with local professionals for title services can feel confident that the review of the title history was thorough and performed by a professional, not a minimum wage worker at a call center or automated software.

Title research is crucial for buyer protection during real estate transactions. Partnering with the right professionals for title services can be a smart move for those making one of the biggest purchases of a lifetime.