The last thing anyone wants in real estate is to be unable to buy or sell a home because of title problems. Defects, or “clouds,” on title at the very least can stall the real estate transaction, taking anywhere from days to months to resolve. Title companies and their agents work diligently to conduct a title search for each real estate transaction. Unmarketable titles not only prevent proper title transfers – they can be costly to resolve and ultimately result in the inability to sell a property.
Barriers to Settlement: Title Defects
A myriad of factors can prevent clear title and interfere with the closing process. Here are the most common:
- Unknown or missing heirs
- False impersonation
- Prior owner judgments
- Clerical errors in public records
- Fraudulent document execution
- Inaccurate representation of marital status
- Improper probation of wills
- Boundary, survey or easement inaccuracies
- Unreleased deed of trust
How Are Clouds on Title Resolved?
Resolving defects on title varies, depending on the issue preventing clear title and the circumstances surrounding it. The best way to protect against title problems is to work with a highly experienced title agent, ensure a thorough title search is conducted and purchase Owner’s Title Insurance. In some cases, the courts may need to get involved to “clear” title and render it marketable. In others, liens or judgments must be satisfied, or necessary paperwork completed to remove title defects before closing.
A Word About Title Insurance
Title insurance protects the lender and owner against title defects identified after the transaction closes. Most lender’s require a Lender’s Policy, and buyers are strongly encouraged to purchase an Owner’s policy to insure against significant financial loss. In some cases, the cost of an Owner’s policy may be included in seller concessions. Even if title appears to be “clear,” purchasing title insurance is highly recommended. Visit our title insurance page for additional information.
At Linear Title & Escrow, we are unwavering in our commitment to conduct a thorough title search for each real estate transaction. For help with your title concerns and questions, contact our friendly team today!