Real estate transactions are about more than just the transfer of physical property. The title itself must also change ownership hands. But unlike evaluating how sparkling a new home’s kitchen is or how shiny the bathrooms are, it’s less obvious to see how “clean” the property’s title record is.
This is where a title search comes in.
What is a Title Search?
A title search is done prior to closing on a real estate transaction, and its purpose is to conduct a detailed examination of the property’s historical records.
Title searches are essential because they reveal if there are any claims, defects, or other rights or burdens already on the property. Among these could be unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments against the seller, and restrictions limiting the use of the land. If these aren’t cleared, you could end up dealing with the consequences.
What Happens During a Title Search?
During a title search, property records are scoured. These include deeds, court records, property and name indexes, and many other documents. The purpose of the search is to verify the seller’s right to transfer ownership and that the title is unencumbered. A title search in Florida generally costs less than $500 and can be less than that depending on the type of property.
In addition to conducting a title search, you should also invest in title insurance. Unlike other types of insurance, title insurance requires a one-time premium payment and offers protection for as long as you or your heirs own the property.
Without title insurance to protect your investment, you could be at risk of losing your home and right to ownership if any “hidden hazard” title issues were to arise after you purchased the home.
To ask your question about title insurance and title services in Florida, please get in touch with our team at ADS Title Services.