Whether you’re selling or purchasing real estate, you’ll quickly learn several new terms that you may not have been familiar with before, especially if this is your first time. Most people tend to assume that titles and property deeds are the same thing, but they are actually two separate legal concepts. Title is the legal way of establishing your ownership over something. Here’s what you need to know about title search in real estate.
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What Is a Title Search in Real Estate?
Before you make any real estate purchase you must have a title search. A title search examines city records to find out the property’s title history. These records include deeds, court records, property and name indexes, and many other documents. Title searches make sure that the seller has the legal right to sell their property, and that they are no other hindrances that could get in the way of the buyer taking full possession. Some hindrances that can be found in the title search include mortgage claims, liens, title claims, judgements, and other outstanding claims.
What Records Does a Title Search Review?
A real estate lawyer may review documents such as all public and court records, chain of title, property tax records, legal descriptions, liens or other claims, and easements. As thorough as a title search may be, there are some problems it may not reveal including:
- Mental incompetence
- Clerical errors
- Improperly probated wills
- Clears confusion between similar or identical names
What Makes a Title Defective?
There are specific factors that can make a title defective. Working with a professional real estate lawyer as you do your title search can help you resolve any of the following issues:
- Improperly recorded legal documents
- Defective acknowledgments due to improper or expired certification
- Mistakes and omissions resulting in improper abstracting
- Wrong deeds, mortgages, wills, releases of mortgages, and other instruments
- Errors in descriptions
- Title being subject to other people’s interests
FAQ about Title Search
What shows up on a title search?
A title search will clarify the legal owner of the property; reveal any mortgages, judgements, liens, or some unpaid appliance contracts that will need to be dealt with before the property can be sold to a buyer; and outline any existing easements, leases, or restrictions that affect the property.
How much does it cost to do a title search?
The fees of a title search may vary, but they are typically included in our closing costs. At Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers, we offer fixed closing costs at $999, plus only the costs of Title Insurance, your land transfer taxes, registrations, and HST.
How long does it take to do a property title search?
The title process takes approximately a week but depending on the transaction type and property, this time frame can vary and be much quicker. Your real estate lawyer or title officer can provide you with updates on the timeline as the closing progresses.
How do I get a copy of the title to my house?
Records related to a property’s title history are public and can be researched at the applicable town’s property record’s office.
How can I do a title search on my house?
Getting an accurate and in-depth title history of the property you want to buy or sell is best done by a professional real estate lawyer who can explain all the detailed documents to you and advise you on your decision.
Can you get title insurance after closing?
Yes, you can still purchase a title insurance policy after you closed the deal on the property, but if there are any issues that arise after the closing, it may be considered a new issue and will not be covered.
Do I need a title search if I want to refinance my home?
If you want to refinance your home, you will need to pay for title insurance. Requiring a new title search is a condition of refinancing, as the lender will need to see if there are any issues standing in the way of your property being fit to sell. Your lawyer takes care of this for the lender. At Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers, this is included in our $799 refinance quote.
Is the deed to a house the same as a title?
Many people use “deed” and “title” interchangeably; however, they are two different concepts. The title clarifies your ownership to a property, and you can transfer this ownership to others. Deeds, however, are legal documents that are used to transfer ownership of one person to another.
Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer for a Title Search
Aside from the new terms you will learn when buying or selling a property, there are many other conditions and rules you need to know about. Trying to manage this process on your own can be stressful and time consuming, but there are professionals who can help you navigate through these technicalities.
If you need assistance dealing with your title, residential mortgage, purchase or sale lawyers in Toronto can help you. Zinati Kay – Real Estate Lawyers is a full service residential real estate law firm that provides fixed closing costs to buyers and sellers when they buy, sell, mortgage, or title transfer their property. This allows you to know exactly the service you’ll get for what you pay.
We have been in business for 25 years and have closed over 21,000 real estate transactions. We have three lawyers to service our clients and were one of the first firms to provide fixed closing costs. We provide professional service, reasonable real estate lawyer fees, and have thousands of satisfied clients to prove it. If you need any assistance, contact us at 416-321-8766 for more information about our services.