Purchasing a new home can be a stressful and exciting experience. After you get through closing, you should be able to move in and relax. If there are problems with your house’s title, though, you might be at the beginning of a long and frustrating nightmare.
According to Bankrate, title searches protect both buyers and lenders, as they uncover potential issues with a home’s title. As a result, it is critical to perform a title search before closing. Here are four problems your title search might reveal.
1. Liens, bankruptcies and debts
Arguably, the greatest benefit of performing a title search is uncovering information about outstanding liens, bankruptcies or debts that may encumber the property. If your home has any of these, you may be on the hook for someone else’s financial mismanagement.
2. Forgeries and impersonations
Like with other financial transactions, the home buying process can be vulnerable to forgeries and even impersonations. A title search allows you to determine whether the documents and individuals with which you are dealing are authentic.
3. Clerical issues
Everyone makes mistakes, including county clerks, title companies, insurers and others. If there is a problem with your new home’s paperwork, a title search is likely to find it. You even may have enough time to correct the issue before your scheduled closing date.
4. Other owners
The transfer of property can be complex, as any piece of property might have more than one owner. A title search can tell you whether someone’s estate plan or divorce affects his or her ability to transfer ownership of the property to you.
Ultimately, even if you must pay for a title search, it is impossible to overstate the value of the peace of mind you achieve from performing one.