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What if a seller does not transfer clean title to me?

When many Fort Lauderdale residents think of a real estate dispute, they usually think of issues related to what are technically called "improvements" to real estate. For instance, a buyer might think about suing the seller of a home if it turns out the seller did not tell them about a leaky roof or a serious plumbing issue the seller knew about.

A commercial buyer might feel equally upset at a seller if it turns out that, because of building codes, zoning regulations or other laws, the buyer cannot use the building for their business.

Some Floridians might face a slightly different issue, and that is when a seller quite literally does not have the legal right to transfer the property they sold to a buyer, meaning, in turn, the buyer may not own the land at all, or at least does not own it to the extent the buyer honestly thought. When these sorts of situations happen, it is considered a failure on the seller's part to transfer clean title. These cases are property disputes in the strictest sense of the term.

If the buyer purchased or received title insurance during the closing, upon discovering that they do not have clean title, probably the best thing they could do first is file a claim with the title insurance company. A cooperative title insurance company will either pay for the loss in value to the property or will work on making things right so that the new owner does indeed have a right to the property they bought.

If the title insurance route is unavailable, then the buyer should carefully examine the deed the seller gave at the time of closing. If the seller gave a warranty deed, the seller made an enforceable promise to the buyer that they had clean title. If it turns out to be otherwise, then the seller can be held liable for the loss.

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