How Real Estate Title Searches Work
Real estate title search examines all public records in the county to provide a “clean” title upon conveyance.
- Historical deeds are examined to confirm a proper “chain of title”. This important step makes sure that each person before you had the legal right to sell the property. In this step the legal description of the property is verified on all previous transfers as well.
- The title examiner will review all recorded mortgages and other encumbrances. The title examiner will determine which documents have been satisfied and which ones are still outstanding. Before transferring title all encumbrances must be satisfied in a manner that is compliant with Florida’s Real Property Title laws.
- Some personal judgments can attach to property such as, delinquent child support, student loans and unpaid credit cards.
- Unrecorded liens are the most common. These liens include water bills, code violations, or any other lien that may not be recorded. The “Marketability” of title will be affected by these unrecorded liens.
So The Title Is Clear, Now What?
The title company issues a commitment to insure based on the real estate title search. This is a document that says, this is what needs to happen for us to insure the real estate title (or deed), for instance, the first mortgage must be paid at closing. In the commitment there is also a section of exclusions (Schedule B Section 2) or things that will not be covered by the title insurance policy. This is an example of some common exclusions:
- Rights or claims of parties in possession not shown by the Public Records, such as tenant’s lease.
- All matters disclosed by an accurate survey.
- Taxes or special assessments which are not shown as existing liens by the public records.
- Encroachments, encumbrances, and restrictions recorded by a Home Owners Association.
The Real Estate Title Search Revealed Defects, Now What?
This is the part where you hope that you have picked the right title company. We work to clear defects discovered during the real estate title search. This may be as simple as paying something that is outstanding or as complex as correcting deeds from several owners ago. Defects are not always correctable, rare cases involve the use of an attorney. The attorney can gain the courts assistance in correcting title defects. This is a very complex process but not hopeless, there are attorney’s that specialize in clearing real estate titles and is a very common practice when a defect cannot be resolved by the seller or the title company.
Now that you have read about what it takes to search a real estate title (or deed), give us a call so we can show you the title company difference! Scarab Title & Escrow Services, LLC. can help you, don’t delay and give us a call at (727) 378-4553.