If you need to do a title search in Tampa before buying a property, we are available to help you through this process at any time. Contact us immediately to discuss your title search needs, and read more below about how we handle the search, and what we will be looking for before signing off on your purchase agreement.
What Is a Title?
A title is a document that proves the right to legal ownership of a property. Titles are either partial or complete – if you have the full title to a piece of property, you are the sole owner; however, if you have a partial title, then you share ownership with one or more other parties. The title gives the owner (or partial owner) rights to access and/or modify the property as they see fit.
What Is a Title Search?
When you are planning to buy or mortgage a piece of property, the mortgage company will likely require a title search. During this search, an attorney will explore the property’s history and determine any events and interests to the property that may cause issues for the new owner or mortgage company. Essentially, a title search is used to determine if there are any other party’s who can claim rights, in any capacity, to the property.
For example: a home may have been the summer house of a family in the 1960’s, and in the will, was divided among all of the children. From there, the children would determine how to handle the titles and ownership, and may then pass it along to their children, sell their portions back to the other siblings, or any other number of options. In this case, the title search is trying to ensure that there is no long-lost family member with a 1/16th interest in the property who may turn up down the road.
The Most Important Questions In a Title Search
There are three core questions that are to be answered in a title search:
- Can the seller legally make a sale of the property?
- Are there any covenants, restrictions, or easements on the property that will carry over in the sale?
- Are there any liens on the property that need to be addressed by the seller?
If your title search comes back clean on these three questions, you will hopefully be able to move forward with the transaction without issue.
What If The Title Search Misses Something?
There is no guarantee that your title search will uncover every single detail of the property in question, especially if there is an extensive history of transactions, partial titles, liens, or other complicated processes that can obscure all of the relevant details. This is why buyers generally purchase title insurance. Title insurance protects the buyer in the event that undiscovered issues with the title arise after the purchase is completed. Once the insurance is purchased, the buyer is indemnified against financial burdens that may arise due to mistakes or omissions in the search.
If a title issue does arise, the person who has a grievance against the sale, development, and changes to the property and property value are entitled to monetary compensation, but in exchange for this compensation, will not have any additional right to the property. Depending on the work being done and the value being added to the property, this can sometimes be a significant amount of money, and can be very damaging to the new owner if they are not insured.
Do I Need Title Insurance?
There is no law requiring that you need to purchase title insurance for the property you are buying, but this is a question best discussed with your real estate attorney. Tampa has many complicated properties that require extensive title searches, and because property can be quite valuable, it may be in your best interest to protect your future financial liabilities to any possible title claimant.
Contact Us Today
If you need assistance with a title search, or would like an attorney to speak with about any issues or questions related to the titling of your property or any real estate you are considering buying, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. We will be happy to discuss your real estate in Tampa, and can work with you every step of the way through this transaction.
Contact us today to speak with an attorney about title searches on any property in Tampa that you are planning to purchase.