Ownership of real estate is identified by its title. When real estate is sold, the title is transferred from one party to another. It is therefore a crucial component of a real estate transaction. This blog provides details on title searches for Massachusetts home purchases, what it is, and why it is significant.
Title is paperwork declaring the ownership and right to use a property. It is not one specific document but a series of documentation including deeds, court records, property indexes, loans, etc. These are kept on record at the local Registry of Deeds and is public information.
Title Searches For Massachusetts Home Purchases
A title search is a thorough evaluation of historical documents pertaining to a certain property. It starts with the present owners and traces back to previous owners. The object of the title search is to find any problems or current claims that any party may have to a property. The final goal is to verify that a seller has the ability to transfer ownership to another party.
Potential Title Issues
A title search may uncover problems such as a lien on a property not being released, unpaid taxes, and judgments against a seller. Some of these can be easily fixed before the anticipated closing while others may require an extended amount of time and work to clear. Also, some defects may be concealed and not easily identified even with a comprehensive title search. These include forgeries, misrepresented information, problematic deeds, and clerical mistakes. These may stay hidden for many years and may threaten the rights of a property owner when finally exposed. Title insurance is a program designed to address this risk but typically does not apply to everything.
Importance of Title Searches
Title searches are a critical part of the home buying process and are generally completed by a closing attorney or closing agent. No matter how thorough a title search is, it is worthwhile for buyers to look into purchasing title insurance to protect against difficult to find problems. Consult with your attorney for more details on title searches for Massachusetts home purchases and to make an educated decision on title insurance.