Attorneys in Nassau & Suffolk County

The Importance of Performing a Title Search

It is considered customary to perform a title search as part of any real estate deal, and it is often included as a requirement in real estate contracts. This is important for protecting both the buyer and seller from potential legal woes, both now and in the future. But what exactly is a title search, and what might happen if you do one as part of your real estate transaction?

What is a Title Search?

A title search is an examination of the public records related to a specific property, including the history of the property’s ownership, to ensure the full and legitimate ownership by its current owner. Typically, this is performed by a real estate attorney, who will examine these records for potential errors, omissions, or other problems. This gives the parties a chance to remedy any title defects that are discovered, or to break off the transaction if a solution cannot be reached.

Why Perform a Title Search?

A title search is considered essential because of the legal requirement that a property have “clear title” before it can be sold. This means that the current owner must have full and legitimate ownership of the property, unburdened by problems that might bring into question their rights. Without a title search, there is a risk these problems may not be found until after the real estate deal has already closed, leading to potential litigation.

What Defects Might a Title Search Find?

There are many defects that a title search might find, any of which may pose a legal risk to your real estate transaction. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Errors or omissions in public records
  • Unpaid mortgages or liens
  • Unpaid property taxes
  • Undeclared easements or covenants
  • Fraudulent paperwork
  • Undisclosed heirs
  • Disputed boundaries or survey results

What Should You Do?

The best way to protect yourself from these sorts of issues is to speak to a lawyer with experience handling real estate transactions. They can review your case and help you resolve any problems that may arise. The sooner you contact them, the sooner they can begin working on your behalf.

For more than 50 years, the New York lawyers at Elovich and Adell have represented clients like you in real estate cases. Our attorneys, conveniently located in Long Beach, handle personal injury, real estate, commercial transactions, criminal defense, and labor and employment claims all across New York State. For a consultation, please call us at 516-432-6263 or visit our contact page for more information.

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