Before you can close on your new home, it needs to have a clean title. A title company’s job is to find and correct any issues with the property’s title before closing. It takes a lot of research to make sure the records are in order, and it gets even more complicated when probate and estate sales are involved. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced and trustworthy title company.
What a Title Company Does
A title company researches the property to make sure the title to the home is legitimate. They also provide title insurance so that the new owner is protected if any issues arise in the future.
The title search can potentially uncover a number of problems:
an error on the deed
unpaid taxes that are a lien against the property
property line disputes
an illegal claim on the deed by a previous owner
an unknown heir to the property might even be discovered
After the title search, the title company issues you a title commitment, which will disclose any liens, encumbrances, or defects to the title that may prevent you from taking ownership. The title commitment is also your guarantee for a title insurance policy after closing.
Buyers, sellers, and other real estate agents may not be familiar with the title commitment, so they may not know the importance of reviewing it. An inexperienced escrow officer may also not review it, and that would create problems at the closing table.
It’s important to work with an escrow officer who is knowledgeable and detail-oriented when it comes to the title commitment, especially when it involves a seller being a third party appointed by the court.
Why a Third Party May be Appointed
When the court appoints a third party, that individual acts as a personal representative and works on behalf of the homeowner. Dana McDonald of Stewart Title and Trust says there are a number of reasons a court might appoint a third party.
"An example of when this occurs is when there is an incapacitated adult due to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, mental health matters, or other cognitive impairment issues. In some cases, a third party is necessary to settle family disputes. Another instance would be where the homeowner has appointed a third party like a fiduciary or an attorney as a trustee in their trust,” says McDonald.
If there is no will, trust, or beneficiary deed, the property goes through probate and the court appoints a third party to work on behalf of the estate.
You can avoid unnecessary delays with closing by working with an escrow officer who has experience with transactions involving a third party.
How I Can Help
The last thing you want when buying or selling your home is for the sale to be slowed down or worse – stopped completely. I have 5 years of experience teaming up with the title company to review the title commitment and ensure there are no surprises at the closing table.
Working with an experienced escrow officer, I make sure to review the title commitment right away. If I spot any errors, I bring them to the escrow officer’s attention so they can get resolved immediately and you can close on time!
My mission is to make buying and selling a smooth experience, without title issues getting in your way. If you have questions about getting a clean title on your home, connect with me today.