Why Should I Get a Title Search?

By Michelle Kitzler

September 15, 2015

Why should I get a title search?

People often wonder, why should I have a title exam done?! I have owned the property forever, it’s been in my family forever, I paid cash for my property, I bought my property at sheriff’s sale, etc. The truth is, even if you fall into one of these categories, you truly don’t know until the records have been searched thoroughly by a professional. Anyone who could file a lien upon the property is not required to notify you first, and there are various reasons and entities who could file liens against property, not just lenders.

A lot of times when a property is in the family a long time, title searches were not done because the family prepares their own documents for the transfer. They feel it is not necessary to order a title search because they are just transferring the property from one family member to another, often times with no money being exchanged. The problem is, the family member is not an attorney, so often times, they do not know what’s required of the document to be transferred, resulting in a document that needs re-done and re-filed. Furthermore, when you are dealing with family to family transfers, this results in many years going by, which means many years being unexamined, which could result in liens or problems.

If you buy the property without a title search, you will inherit all liens and problems that occurred prior to your purchase. A title search finds the liens and problems, and corrects or insures the issues are resolved.

If you buy your property at sheriff’s sale, you are not guaranteed a clear title. A lot of independent title examiners (not with a title company) only search the title from when the current owner took title, leaving all the prior owners unsearched and a lot of underlying liens and problems uncovered. If you pay cash for your property at a sheriffs sale and then go to a lender for a home improvement loan, a title search will be done searching all prior owners back to a certain year, and if any liens or problems are found, that weren’t discovered during the search for the sheriffs sale, the lender could deny you the loan, or even make it difficult to sell your property. Because YOU did not get a title exam done at the time of purchasing your property, any prior liens or problems are now YOUR problems. YOU are responsible for getting a title search done when YOU are buying property at a sheriff’s sale.

 In closing, I want to leave you with this…. For most people, your home is your most valuable asset. It is worth every penny to protect it and insure that your biggest asset is protected. In the bigger scheme of things, you are virtually spending pennies to achieve this thru a title exam compared to the value of your home! If you are still unsure if a title exam is the right thing for you, just call us and ask! We would love to help and assist in any way possible!



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