In any real estate transaction, one of the key steps toward closing is the title search. Its purpose is to make sure the seller owns the property and also to discover any problems or competing interests that might encumber the seller’s right to sell. Title defects, whether due to third-party claims, flawed records or fraudulent acts, must be rectified so that the property can be sold free and clear.
Title companies examine public records for prior deeds on the property, divorce decrees, wills, bankruptcy filings and other potential clouds on ownership. Issues requiring substantial corrective work arise in about one-third of all title searches. Here are 10 of the most common ones:
Title insurance companies issue policies only for the real estate ownership interest that can be conveyed, which means they will carve out exceptions for any title defects not resolved. Most clouds on title can be removed by showing proofs of satisfaction of financial claims on the property, by proving authenticity of the seller’s ownership or by correcting errors in records. In the event of disputes with third parties, negotiation or even litigation may be required.
Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP represents buyers and sellers in all aspects of Texas residential and commercial real estate transactions, including resolution of title defects. Call us at 940-230-2386 or contact us online to make an appointment at one of our offices, located in Denton, Flower Mound, Gainesville and Celina.
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