You just bought a house, and everything is going along well. One day you come home, check the mail and find an unexpected envelope in your mailbox. The paperwork inside indicates that you as the new homeowner need to pay back taxes due on the property. This is something that would blindside anyone with a new house.
How could something like this happen? Why weren’t you informed that there was a tax lien on the property? This is something that a routine property title search would most likely have turned up. The professionals at Traditional Abstract, LLC, can perform property title searches for you to ensure that you don’t have any surprises.
What is a Property Title Search?
A property title search entails going through public records and legal documents in an attempt to verify who the legal owner of the property is. Additionally, this search will reveal if there are any claims against the property from legal judgments, tax liens from governmental agencies, or other encumberments to a clean title for the property. Whether you are buying or selling a property, having a clean property title is something that you definitely want.
Why Do We Want a Clean Title?
As a property seller, you want a clear title. This means that you have the legal right to sell the property. If a title comes back with a lien on it or some other claim, it means that you do not have the right to sell the property without some additional action being taken. Even having the sale of the property recorded when the seller first bought the property can be a problem if that sale was never recorded. If you can’t prove that you bought the property, you have no legal right to attempt to sell it because there is no record of you owning it.
As a property buyer, you also want a clear title. This means that the seller has the legal right to sell the property, meaning you are dealing with the right people. Additionally, a clear title ensures that you won’t have to deal with any liens or other encumberments to the property when you become the new owner of the property.
If you are getting a mortgage, then the mortgage lender typically also wants to make sure that the title is clear as well. They don’t want to get messed up in a complicated property dispute where they may end up losing money.