Twin Cities Property Title Information for Home Buyers and Sellers
Title? No, I don’t mean Mr. or Mrs. or Dr., etc. The title to property shows, simply put, who owns the property (land or house). Hopefully, that there are no liens or any other legal documents that would restrict your use of the property.
You don’t want to purchase a house only to find later on that someone forged a signature or didn’t pay a bill or taxes. For example – let’s say somewhere along the way, someone forged a title document. It may affect your ability to sell the property down the road. It may be the largest investment you’ll ever make, so it’s important to protect it.
Besides – to get a mortgage or just to be safe you must buy Title Insurance! This will protect you from losses that occurred prior to the date of the policy. Your Edge Real Estate Realtor can help you secure title insurance.
Basics of Twin Cities Property Title Information
The process this insurance will go through will involve several steps.
1. Title Search is a very detailed search done by the insurance company. It includes a search of public records, laws and court decisions that pertain to the property. Once this is completed, a Title Report is issued.
2. A Preliminary Title Report – this is done the check the current ownership rights or interest of the property that you’re interested in purchasing. This will include ownership of the property, how the title is held (see the section on ownership), a legal description of the property and perhaps an informational plat map.
a. This report will show they type of title insurance and any exclusions or exceptions of coverage. (Examples of exceptions & exclusions are recorded deeds, easements, agreements, covenant conditions and restrictions or CCR)
b. Your Edge Real Estate Service Realtor will help you read this report. This will include the following points:
i. Make sure the names on the report are the same as the names on the purchase contract. This also indicates how the title is held (joint tenancy, tenancy in severalty or ownership by one person or corporation, tenancy in common, or tenancy by the entirety or married couples. If it’s held by married couples – both parties must agree to the sale.)
ii. Check the property address, plat map and legal description all match.
iii. Check the informational notes including transfer taxes, monument fees, and homeowner’s association fees (HOA), etc.
iv. Review the exceptions to ensure they don’t interfere with your future plans. (This could impact your ability to add a swimming pool or other backyard structure.)
v. If any “surprise” should arise from this, your Realtor will help you call the escrow officer or Title Company to discuss the matter. These often have already been discovered by these folks, but it doesn’t hurt for you to be proactive.
3. The finished report or Final Title Report is issued after the closing occurs when the sale is recorded at the local courthouse.
I bought Title Insurance, so I’m protected, right?
Well, yes and no. Remember I said to get a mortgage you will need title insurance? That protects the lender’s interest in the property. To protect your interest, you can purchase an owner’s title insurance for a one-time fee based on the price of the home. This is optional, but highly recommended.
An Owner’s Title Insurance policy will pay for all the court costs and related fees for any risk that is named in the policy. These might include any undisclosed heir who may have a claim, documents prepared by and incorrect or expired power of attorney, forged signatures on documents or mistakes in public records. There are many other issues that are covered.
If you’ve got questions, please contact Edge Real Estate Services at 952.888.3343!