There are many things that you can encounter when trying to sell a home or purchase one, for that matter. From faulty inspections to last-minute decisions (that could negatively impact you), the home-owning process is not for the faint of heart.
The problem of all problems, however, is title issues. If your home has title problems discovered before or during the closing, you cannot (and we repeat, you cannot) sell it. So, what can you do? Here are our recommendations to take care of your title issues and get closer to your desired outcome.
The 411 on Common Title Mishaps
It is often understood that title issues have to be fully settled before a home is sold. However, issues with titles account for 11% of all closing mishaps currently. So, what does that tell you? Title issues can be sneaky and surprising for even the most conscientious.
Even if you think your title is clean and clear, there may be underlying issues that you’re not fully aware of or issues that were there from the very beginning of the original purchase.
What common issues can arise?
Here are some of the most common problems you can face with your title.
For homes that stand as security for a debt or other obligation, a lien will often be placed against it. The most common of all liens is a mortgage. The lien acts as a way for the other party to rightfully foreclose on your home to pay back any outstanding debt currently owed.
And while it may seem like you are fine because, after all, your mortgage and taxes are up to date, it is not always the case. Liens are tricky and can be placed on properties from previous owners only to surface later.
Let’s say that your home’s previous owners passed away before ever getting the opportunity to sell the home. What can be done? Often, situations like this might result in you facing whatever heirs that have come forward to claim rights to the property. In this case, the heirs (who may have the legal right to the property) can create an issue for anyone trying to buy the house.
-Public Record Errors
Here’s the thing to remember when it comes to all things in life: people are bound to make mistakes. Some are big mistakes, and some are little. However, when it comes to recording details, these are the mistakes that really matter. While a simple clerical or filing error can seem like a minor offense in comparison to other title issues that occur, these can take a while to resolve. The key to eliminating this problem is to perform a search of the title early in the selling process.
Let’s say that your name is Bob Johnson. A simple enough name that probably has never given you any trouble. Now, what if Bob Johnson is actually a very popular name and mistaken for someone who could be facing some sort of judgment of owed dues? If this is the case, a judge could potentially file a lien against your property, thinking that you are indeed the Bob Johnson that owes money.
To resolve this title issue, you can simply fill out an identity affidavit. However, it could become a lot deeper than that based on the investigation.
So, how can you actually protect yourself from the many issues that could arise because of title issues?
The best way to protect yourself from an unwanted surprise is to perform a title search to clear up any issues early in the selling process. If your due diligence shows that there is a title issue, you must address it before selling the property.
If you are ready to purchase a home or in the midst of selling your property and have run into a title nightmare, contact us to see how we can help you navigate the sale successfully.