Frequently Asked Questions
A title is the foundation of property ownership. It states the owner’s right to possess and use the property. A properly marked up title is very important to have, should your property encounter any legal issues regarding ownership or sale.
A title search is a professional examination of the historical records pertaining to a piece of property. These records include deeds, court records, property and name indexes, and more. The purpose of a title search is to verify the seller’s right to transfer ownership, and to discover any claims, defects and other rights or burdens on the property which could impact a clean sale.
A title search can show a number of title defects and liens, as well as other encumbrances and restrictions. Among these are unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments against the seller and restrictions limiting the use of the land, among others.
Possibly. There are some hidden hazards that even the most diligent title search may never reveal. For example, the previous owner could have incorrectly stated his marital status, resulting in a possible claim by his legal spouse. Other “hidden hazards’ include fraud and forgery, defective deeds, mental incompetence, confusion due to similar or identical names or clerical errors in the records. These defects can arise after you’ve purchased your home and can jeopardize your right to ownership. This is why title insurance is recommended and sometimes required by the lending entity.
The title insurer will, at no expense to you, defend against the following examples that may cause 'right of ownership' issues.Forgery
- Loss because of impersonation
- Paperwork or filing errors in the clerk’s office
- Guardianship and probate issues arising from heirs of former owners
- Boundary disputes (Surveyor’s errors)
- Title Examiners’ oversights
Real Estate Title Insurance is your policy of protection against loss if any problems results in a claim against your right to ownership – even a hidden hazard.
Unlike other types of insurance, Title Insurance has only one premium, paid at the time of settlement. That single premium will protect you for as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in the property and, in some cases, even beyond.
Premiums can vary in different areas of the country, but generally the cost of title insurance, which includes the search, examination and related services, amounts to about one percent (1%), or less, of the cost of the property. Feel free to contact us with any questions.