Title Report Basics
A title report is very important because the preliminary title report will provide you with any impediments that could prevent a clear title from passing to you from the seller. Impediments could be liens, restrictions & interests of others excluded from title coverage will be listed as exceptions in the report. The preliminary report it will show the legal description of the property, the current owner’s name, all underlying encumbrances, liens, judgments, deeds, & any other underlying matters, such as easements, covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs) & agreements which affect & run with the land.
Some common agreements which run with the land include: view easement or covenants; height restrictions; building limitations; encroachment issues such as fence lines, gardens, & even swimming pools crossing property lines; water well sharing; parking, road maintenance; shared driveway; solar panels & noise.
A Clouded Title is a Problem
In order to pass ownership of property from one party to another, the title must not reflect any financial claims or ownership claims by parties other than the seller. If there are problems with the title, then it is referred to as a “Clouded Title”. While in theory the seller should know about any of these other claims, depending on how long they’ve owned the property, & a number of other factors, they may not be aware of previous issues with the title. Unfortunately, in these cases, buyers won’t know that the title has problems until closing starts. This is one of the primary reasons why it is necessary to run the title report before the closing starts.
How to Resolve a Clouded Title
If you find out at a closing that a property doesn’t have a clear title, you’re going to have to resolve it if you want that transaction to proceed. For smaller problems like liens or overdue property taxes related to the seller, the amount due can sometimes be subtracted from sales proceeds, & proper paperwork can be filed to show that liens have been released. However, if larger issues like a break in the chain of title or third-party claims, such as from a divorce judgment, need to be resolved, you will need to hire attorneys or other professionals to track down the appropriate parties & resolve the missing information. If you run a title report earlier in the process, you will have advance notice of any issues & the time to resolve them.
For more help & information pertaining to Title Reports, there is none better than a Realtor like Laura Hill at Local Katy Realty who cares & fights for her clients. https://www.localkatyrealty.com