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Title Search Basics


We at Florida Home Title Company know how taxing and confusing buying and selling real estate can be – especially when it comes to the title search – that is why we are going to take you through the basics of title searches to hopefully ease your stress and concerns.

What is a title search?
When you are in the process of buying a property you are actually buying the title that allows you to occupy and use the space that makes up the property. There may be claims attached to a title that are based upon past rights. The way to find out if this is the case is by doing and examining the title through a title search. A title search involves performing an in-depth analysis of the past records of the property, such as court records, deeds, property name and indexes.

Why is a title search important?
The most important function of performing a title search is to validate that the seller’s right to transfer ownership is legitimate. A title search is thus used to find out if there are any claims, defects or other rights and burdens attached to the property you are purchasing. If the seller’s right to transfer ownership is not valid it means that the seller does not legally own the property. If this is the case the property cannot be legally transferred to you. Therefore you cannot exercise ownership over the property you paid for. A title search will give you the information on the property in question in order to protect you against such a scenario. Another function of a title search is to look for other undesirable attachments such as outstanding mortgages, unpaid taxes and liens. It will also reveal any restrictions, leases or issues that might influence ownership of the property such as easements, neighbor encroachments and boundaries.

How do I perform a title search?
Doing a title search involves accessing and analyzing the past records of the property in question. The process starts with a search for the physical documents attached to the property. Once the documents have been sourced they are retrieved, reviewed and analyzed by an attorney or other qualified expert to ascertain the affects each document may have on the property in question. There are two types of searches that can be performed:

  • A limited coverage search – which involves doing title reports for refinance transactions or for creating title guarantee reports.
  • A full coverage search – which involves creating a title report for sale/resale transactions.

Once a title search has been performed it is advisable to receive a short summary of information that was found attached to the property in question.

While you may feel more comfortable with title searches after reading this, it is important to stress that we have only taken you through the basics. There more complexities attached to home titles and it is advisable to contact an experienced title insurance company – such as Florida Home Title Company – to assist you with all your title needs.