If you are in the process of purchasing real estate, you are likely already aware that there are many different matters to consider before you sign on the dotted line. One such important consideration is whether to conduct a title review.
What is a Title Review?
A title review is when someone, typically an attorney or an abstractor, searches for and reviews any documents on record relating to a particular piece of property, going back several years. Typically these searches will reveal past deeds, liens, and encumbrances on the property. The benefit of a title review is informing a potential purchaser of the history of the property, essentially a “Buyer Beware” action for the real estate market.
Title Search and Covenants
If you are purchasing your property with the assistance of a loan, it is likely your mortgage company will hire its own expert to conduct a title search. Many buyers believe that if their lender is reviewing the title then they have nothing to worry about, they assume the lender will protect their interests. However, it is important for buyers to understand that their lender’s interests may not align with their own. For example, if a lender conducts a title search and sees there are no existing liens on the property, they will likely determine the property is satisfactory. They will not be concerned by the fact that they also found a covenant preventing any homeowners from installing a pool on the lot, even though the buyer had hoped to do just that with their new big backyard. Therefore, it is often beneficial that a buyer look to a third party expert to review the title and ensure that their personal interests are considered before they purchase the property.
Title reviews may also help a buyer to understand exactly what they are purchasing. Information may get lost in translation from one deed to the next and sellers are sometimes unaware that they do not own exactly what they think they own. A title review may provide an opportunity for a buyer to ensure that they are in fact purchasing the exact plot of land they believe they are, with all the boundaries, rights, and space they are expecting.
Author: Jenna Zullo
To contact Attorney Zullo or another Welts, White & Fontaine attorney, call 603-883-0797 or use this link. The firm serves business and individuals alike in a variety of practice areas, including: personal injury, workers’ compensation, estate planning, real estate, litigation, collections, divorce and family law, appeals, employment law, and more.
This blog is intended for informational use only. The information contained herein should not be construed as offering legal advice or a legal opinion.