Purchasing a new home or property is exciting for prospective homeowners and business owners. However, the process can, at times, seem cumbersome, as there will be many steps to ensure a successful real estate transaction. There’s nothing more frustrating and even heartbreaking than experiencing challenges that impact your ability to obtain the real estate you are seeking to purchase. One key component to this process in Maryland is the property title search. The process can be complicated, and it’s recommended that you consider seeking the services of a professional. Assistance from a professional can help identify problems and avoid common pitfalls associated with this component of the real estate transaction. At times, a lawyer may be necessary should a problem occur.   

Understanding Property Title Searches

Purchasing property is usually a lengthy process that will require several measures to be taken. There are many steps to reach the finish line and officially assume ownership over the new property. Working with a property title search company is a way to ensure that you can close on the property on time. In plain terms, the title search of a property is documentation that identifies the property owners. Essentially, when purchasing property, it’s critical to confirm that the person selling the property is the true and rightful owner. As a prospective buyer, this information is imperative. Additionally, a property title search can also help you learn more about any deed restrictions, which can provide a holistic view of the property. Buying real estate is a substantial financial commitment, and you will want to have as much information about it as possible before taking the plunge. 

Property Liens

Liens are creditors’ claims on a particular property for unpaid debts. Typically, liens are made public, and prospective buyers cannot purchase the property until the current property owner pays these debts. A property cannot be sold or refinanced until all liens are paid. Liens may be particularly common when purchasing a property that was in foreclosure. Common types of liens are:

  • Judgment Liens
  • Mortgage Liens
  • Property Tax Liens
  • Homeowners Association Liens

Title searches are essential to conducting because they are the most common way of discovering a property lien. 

When a Lawyer May Be Necessary

Typically property title searches are conducted after an offer but before closing on the property. However, depending upon the circumstances, the search may need to be done sooner. Property title companies and lawyers play a crucial role in managing this process as they have the resources necessary to conduct extensive searches. While the search process may seem pretty straightforward, problems may arise, impacting the ability to close on time or even retain the property you are interested in buying. Common issues include bankruptcy proceedings, making ownership unclear, a break in the chain of title, town zoning ordinances, liens or easements, pending divorce proceedings, and more. 

Issues with property titles are one of the top reasons for delayed closings. Delays and complications when purchasing property are pretty standard; however, a legal professional and Property Title may play a key role in helping to manage this process with ease.