Prospective buyers and sellers are wise to take steps to help protect their interests when entering a real estate transaction. Sellers can make sure everything is in order before the sale and buyers can dig into the property’s history to make sure there are no undisclosed or unexpected issues.
One important part of this due diligence process involves a thorough title search. Some of the more common title issues to watch out for during a title search include:
- Liens. A lien can be present on the property if a previous owner failed to pay bills or taxes.
- Boundary disputes. Delays can also result if there are not clear property lines. Questions about whether a fence or structure is on the property or a neighboring parcel as well as concerns about driveways can lead to problems finalizing the deal.
- Problems with public records. Issues with the deed can derail a buyer from moving forward with purchasing property. This could include missing information or mistakes.
- Missing heirs. Problems can also arise if the property is available due to the death of the previous owner. It is possible family members could come forward at a later date and claim ownership.
It is important to find these issues before finalizing a real estate transaction so you can properly address them and reduce the risk of surprises in the future. Once found, there are ways to address these issues. An attorney can re-file public documents to include or correct missing or mistaken information and help resolve outstanding liens. Property surveys can be completed to help clarify property lines.