In the real estate industry, a title search, also called a property title search, is the process of retrieving and examining documents that detail the history of the property involved in the real estate transaction. It is a crucial step in any real estate deal, because every buyer wants to be sure the home, land, or commercial building they are buying is free of any issues that may affect who actually owns the property, and also that there are no liens that need to be addressed. Title searches are performed by an attorney soon after a contract is signed.

A real estate title searches is performed in order to determine relevant interests in, payments on, and regulations concerning the property, including:

        • Is there a clear chain of title starting with the original owner of the property and continuing through all subsequent, properly performed real estate transactions?
        • Are there any mortgages or other liens against the property?
        • Have all prior real estate taxes been paid?
        • Are there any restrictions on the property that might affect your use and enjoyment of the property, such as restrictions on renting an investment property, or a government easement?

A real estate title searches is performed by both searching databases and physically examining prior deeds to make sure each was properly transferred. If an issue is discovered during a title search–for example, if during a prior real estate sale one spouse signed the deed conveying a homesteaded property but the other spouse did not–that problem, or “cloud,” needs to be fixed by your attorney before the sale can proceed.

A thorough and properly executed title search and examination by a well-qualified attorney, coupled with the purchase of title insurance (designed to protect the new owner from any claims against the title), will give you peace of mind and help ensure that there are no surprises down the road. The Law Office of Gary Landau has been practicing in the field of real estate law in Broward and Palm Beach Counties for more than 20 years.

Contact us by phone or email for a FREE consultation to learn more about our firm or what we can specifically do for you. Attorney Gary Landau personally returns all calls to him.

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