Ownership of a property is identified by its title. When real estate is sold, the title is transferred from one party to another. It is therefore a critical part of a property transaction. This blog provides information on title searches for MA home purchases, what it is, and why it is significant.

Definition of Title

Title is paperwork detailing the ownership and use rights of real estate. It is not one particular document but a history of documentation such as deeds, legal documents, property indexes, loans, etc. These are recorded at the local Registry of Deeds and is publicly available.

Title Searches For MA Home Purchases

A title search is a thorough examination of historical documents relating to a certain property. It starts with the present owners and traces back to preceding owners. The goal of the title search is to discover any issues or outstanding claims on a property. The ultimate goal is to confirm that a seller has the ability to grant ownership to another party.

Possible Title Issues

A title search can uncover problems such as a property lien not being released, unpaid taxes, and judgments against the owner. Some of these can be quickly fixed prior to the scheduled closing while others can take more time and effort to clear. Also, rare problems may be concealed and not easily found even with a thorough title search. Some examples are forgeries, misrepresented facts, inaccurate deeds, and clerical errors. These can stay hidden for several years and may jeopardize the rights of the current owner when finally exposed. Title insurance is designed to cover this risk but may not include coverage for every scenario.

Importance of Title Searches

Title searches are a crucial part of the property purchase process and are generally performed by a closing attorney or closing agent. No matter how meticulous a title search may be, it is worthwhile for home buyers to consider buying title insurance to cover hidden issues. Speak to your attorney for more advice on title searches for MA home purchases and to make an informed decision on title insurance.