When you’re buying a new home, you’re about to embark on a whole new chapter of your life – but you can’t get started until all the previous chapters in the home’s story are closed.
When there are issues on a property’s title that aren’t fully resolved, both buyers and sellers can end up deeply frustrated.
What are some of the problems you’re likely to encounter?
A good title search can uncover all kinds of problems, but some are more common than others. These include:
- Incomplete information: Missing addresses, partial names and other incomplete boxes on the title document are a lot more serious than you might think.
- Incorrect descriptions: Errors in the legal descriptions of the property can lead to confusion or disputes over the boundaries.
- Forgeries and fraud: This happens more than many people realize. If there’s a forged signature or evidence of fraud during a prior title transfer, that’s a big issue.
- Uncleared liens: Outstanding debts or liens, such as unpaid taxes, mortgages and other financial obligations, can all affect the title’s transferability.
- Easements and encumbrances: Hidden restrictions in the form of easements and encumbrances granting others the right to use the property in some way can affect the value of the property.
- Unreleased mortgages: It may surprise you to find out that a mortgage was paid off decades ago – and never properly released. That has to be resolved prior to any sale.
When a title problem crops up before a real estate deal, you shouldn’t try to manage the issue on your own. Legal assistance can help spot problems in advance – and find solutions.