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Title Search Process

Few new homeowners recognize the efforts involved in searching and underwriting a title insurance policy — one part of your closing that can prove invaluable down the road.

Here is the title search process:

Public Records Search

A comprehensive title search involves a thorough examination of public records. This can be challenging because, depending on the jurisdiction, property liens and judgments may be filed in various ways. Title companies today often use systematic methods and databases to conduct these searches efficiently, ensuring faster and more accurate results.

Search Results

Title searchers go beyond identifying liens and judgments. They provide information on mortgages, street and sewer assessments, taxes and various other issues that could impact a transaction. Uncovering building restrictions or existing easements is crucial, as is identifying potential encroachments on neighboring land.

New Construction

Even for newly constructed properties, a title search can be time-consuming. While the structure may be new, the land likely has a history of ownership transfers, raising the possibility of ownership issues. Subcontractors or suppliers may have placed liens on the property for unpaid debts, adding another layer of complexity.

Behind the Scenes

The issuance of a title insurance policy involves unseen legwork by title professionals. They work to clear any existing “clouds” like judgments, easements or liens before issuing a policy, minimizing their financial risk. If a cloud is challenging to clear or significant enough to raise concerns, the title company communicates this to the prospective buyer.

Peace of Mind

The data collected through a title search not only provides the buyer with peace of mind about the property but also reduces the risk of future title problems. Investing in a title insurance policy becomes a valuable step in protecting your home, safeguarding your significant investment.