As you get ready to close on your home, your realtor is going to let you know about the closing costs that must be paid for it all to happen. One important step of the process is a title search. While you may think this step is not very important, it is beneficial to you as a homeowner for the following reasons.
Verify The Home Ownership
The most obvious reason to get a title search is to verify that the person selling the home is legally allowed to do so. For example, you may have an elderly person's son or daughter that decides to sell their parent's home but does not have the legal right to do so. This can cause the sale of the home to not be legal without permission from the parent.
Home deeds can also be confusing if there are multiple owners of the home. This often happens if a husband and wife own a home together, but one partner tries to sell the home during a separation. This would not be a legal sale in this instance, and a title search would discover that.
Discover Potential Liens On The Home
It is possible that there is an existing lien on the home due to the homeowner owing somebody money. This can easily happen if the owner owes property taxes that have not been paid or they owe the homeowner's association fees for the monthly dues. There can also be disputes about liens that should have been released but were not legally released so they are still on record. You will want the seller to clean up any potential legal issues since you would be responsible for the lien as the new owner.
Verify Who Owns The Mortgage
The current owner may have multiple mortgages on the home, and the title search process will discover who holds those mortgages and in what order of priority is ownership assigned. All of these mortgages must be paid off before you can purchase the home, and your title company will verify that it has been done on your closing date.
Discover Potential Property Encroachments
You will also verify the exact dimensions of the property you are buying. This is important if you are worried about a neighbor encroaching on the property and you want this dispute resolved before you purchase. For instance, there may be a fence that is on your property illegally or another structure that was built partially on your land.
For more information, contact a title search service.