Why Is a Title Search Required When Purchasing a Home?


Quick Answer

A title search is required when real estate is purchased so that the buyer and any secured lenders, such as a mortgage company, do not face unexpected ownership disputes, according to Cornell University Law School. Problems such as defects or encumbrances in the chain of title are referred to as a "cloud on the title," and must be resolved before a sale can be completed. Some issues that can cloud the title are tax liens, a break in the chain of title, an unreleased secured loan or an inaccurate description of the property in a former deed.

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Full Answer

A title search can be performed by any interested party because all of the documents that need to be reviewed are a matter of public record. Real estate sales in the United States may be accompanied by a purchase of title insurance, which protects the buyer in the event that a lien may have been missed during a title search. In many cases, purchasers will contract the services of an attorney or a title company to conduct a comprehensive title search before a sale enters its final stages.

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