Real Estate School 104
Real Estate School by Julianne E. Murray, Esquire
We are now in our fourth installment, Real Estate School 104, Title Searches. In the first installment, I started with how you get from a ratified sales contract to an attorney’s office. In my second installment, I described three very important documents related to real estate transactions: the deed, the mortgage and the note. The third installment discussed the Settlement Sheet HUD-1.
For our fourth installment, I am going to discuss title searches. When a piece of property is bought, we know from installment three that the current owner (the seller) signs a deed and that deed transfers the ownership of that piece of property to the new owner (the buyer). Deeds are indexed so that a person can research the history of a piece of property and find the previous deeds that have been executed over time. These deeds create what is called a chain of title. The “chain” runs from the present owner back to the original owner of the property, When you buy a piece of property a title search is completed to show that each previous owner properly conveyed the property, free of claim, to the next owner. A piece of real property free of claims, or encumbrances, is said to have “clear” title.
You want your property to have clear title. You want to know that no one has a claim against your property as a result of a previous owner. A title search is money well spent on what is probably the most significant asset you will purchase on your life. If you are getting a loan the title search is not an optional charge – the lender will require it.
In my next installment, I will explain title insurance. In the meantime, if you have any question please feel free to call my office at (302) 855-9300. We are located just off the circle in Georgetown, Delaware at 215 E. Market Street.
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Here is the disclaimer: The information below is NOT intended to be an all-encompassing explanation of the law. It is designed to give you an overview only. You should ask for further information or clarification if you want more details.