A title company's role is to verify that the current owner can legally transfer ownership to the home buyer --essentially, making sure the seller has the right to sell the property.
In this blog, we'll go over how a title company determines legal ownership and the process of transferring the title.
Although they may sound like the same document, a deed and title are very different. A deed is a legal document used to transfer the property from the current owner to the new owner. It's signed on the day of closing.
On the other hand, the title is a document stating who owns the property and whether there are any roadblocks to transferring the deed. When you're buying a new property, it's the title company's job to make sure the title is free of potential ownership claims before ownership is transferred. They do this by conducting a title search.
The title search looks for potential obstacles to the transfer of ownership.
Primarily, it determines whether others have rights to the property. However, a title search also looks for:
Outstanding Mortgages or Other Liens: All liens must be paid off at closing before the title can be transferred. This includes home equity lines of credit, unpaid tax liens, or possibly a loan taken out for a home construction project.
Unpaid HOA Fees: Consequences will vary as to what will happen if HOA fees are left unpaid --some stipulate that they can foreclose on a home if there are outstanding dues. Whatever the case may be, HOA fees must be paid before transferring the title.
Judgments: It's possible to have a judgment that must stay with the property and not necessarily the previous owner. An example of this would be unpaid contractor fees and a judgment in the contractor's favor.
Property Survey: The title company may order a survey to see if there are any encroachment issues and to verify that the home is within its boundaries.
An abstract of title outlines the property's ownership history and will also include things like inheritance and court litigations.
An opinion of title is a legal document written by the title company. It states whether they believe the seller has a clear and valid claim to the property and whether they feel confident about insuring the title. Note that a lender will always require insurance on the title. This is also known as a lender's title policy.
An owner's title policy, however, is optional but recommended. Here's why.
Here are reasons to consider purchasing the optional owner's title insurance:
If the home has changed hands a lot. A long list of past owners increases the risk that information was missed during a previous title search, and a past owner could still have rights to the property.
If you can't afford legal fees to dispute other claims to your property. Even if the claim has no merit, the legal fees to litigate can be expensive.
Peace of mind. Know that your investment is always protected. Even if it turns out that a previous owner has a legitimate claim, you'll still have the funds to buy a new property.
Now that you know the basics of what a title company does, it's time to secure a mortgage with confidence. Start the process online from our website or call us today!
We've been helping customers afford the home of their dreams for many years and we love what we do.
Company NMLS: 229593
200 Westside Square, Suite 602
Huntsville, Al 35801
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
Phone: (256) 539-0555
Lawhorn & Associates Mortgage Company strives to ensure that its services are accessible to people with disabilities. Lawhorn & Associates Mortgage Company has invested a significant amount of resources to help ensure that its website is made easier to use and more accessible for people with disabilities, with the strong belief that every person has the right to live with dignity, equality, comfort and independence.
Lawhorn & Associates Mortgage Company makes available the UserWay Website Accessibility Widget that is powered by a dedicated accessibility server. The software allows lawhornmortgagecompany.com to improve its compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).
Lawhorn & Associates Mortgage Company accessibility menu can be enabled by clicking the accessibility menu icon that appears on the corner on the page. After triggering the accessibility menu, please wait a moment for the accessibility menu to load in its entirety.
Lawhorn & Associates Mortgage Company continues its efforts to constantly improve the accessibility of its site and services in the belief that it is our collective moral obligation to allow seamless, accessible and unhindered use also for those of us with disabilities.
Despite our efforts to make all pages and content on Lawhorn & Associates Mortgage Company website fully accessible, some content may not have yet been fully adapted to the strictest accessibility standards. This may be a result of not having found or identified the most appropriate technological solution.
If you are experiencing difficulty with any content on Lawhorn & Associates Mortgage Company website or require assistance with any part of our site, please contact us during normal business hours as detailed below and we will be happy to assist.
If you wish to report an accessibility issue, have any questions or need assistance, please contact us by sending an email to: email@example.com