What is a Title search?

When a piece of property is bought, the current owner (the seller) signs a document called a deed that 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 encumbrances to the next owner. A piece of real property free from encumbrances is said to have “clear” title.

Why do you care? Because when you buy a piece of property you want 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 in your life. This is particularly true because most people are not familiar with how to search the records themselves.

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