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What is a Title Search In Real Estate

by | Apr 13, 2016 | TIER

Understanding the Importance of a Title Search in Real Estate Transactions

A title search, also known as a preliminary title report, is critical information to have when buying real property. A title search identifies critical information regarding a particular parcel, information that usually is invisible to the naked eye but that affects the use of the property and the financial security of the Buyer.

Real property typically is affected by circumstances identified during a title search, circumstances memorialized by public documents associated with the parcel and located at the County Recorder’s Office. These public documents are often found in the preliminary title report listed as exceptions to title insurance. These exceptions documents memorialize circumstances of the property affecting a Buyer’s ownership interest in the property, circumstances that are not insured.

Common Examples of Public Documents

  • Mortgages
  • Deeds
  • Rights of way
  • Covenants
  • Judgments affecting the title to, or the use of, the property

Value of a Title Search

The value of a title search is to apprise a Buyer of circumstances of ownership of a particular parcel that may not be visible to the naked eye, circumstances that affect ownership interests in the land, the financial security of the Buyer, and that affect the value of the land. Information contained in these documents is critical to understanding whether an asking price is fair or not.

As an example, if a title search reveals a utility easement rendering the entire parcel unbuildable, the value of the parcel would certainly be substantially less than it would if the easement did not exist.

Timely Contract Solutions

Buyers. TIER® (Title Insurance Exceptions Review®) delivers a legal opinion of a parcel’s public documents located at the County Recorder’s Office for properties located outside of a platted subdivision, at a minimum. Know the risks to the use of the land and to the financial security of the Buyer. Negotiate purchase price during the transaction to account for the cost of title remediation.

Sellers. TIER® (Title Insurance Exceptions Review®) delivers a legal opinion of Special Exceptions documents included in the preliminary title report. Know what defects to title exist before listing. Fix any defects before listing to get the best price for your property. Provide the TIER to Buyers to substantiate your offer price.

This posting is not legal advice. Legal advice is based on specific facts. This information is necessarily general in nature.

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