In real estate, title is a legal document that determines your legal rights to own, use, and dispose of land. A title search is done to uncover any limitations on property use, such as liens, easements, and any other unresolved payments that are tied to the property. The title search will also determine if the seller has the legal right to sell the property. During the sale of real estate, a title search is performed to ensure that the transfer is done lawfully and free of any potential claims.
Real Estate Transactions
There are two types of title insurance: an owner’s policy and a lender’s policy. An owner’s policy typically protects the homebuyer while the lender’s policy protects the lender’s interest in the property for the mortgage loan.
- 1. Owner’s policy - An owner’s policy protects the owner’s interest in the property against:
- a. Fraud
- b. Mistakes in recording of legal documents
- c. Forged deeds, deeds by minors, deeds by persons of unsound mind, deeds executed under an invalid or expired power of attorney
- d. Liens
- e. Undisclosed or missing heirs
- 2. Lender’s Policy – A policy insuring a mortgagee or beneficiary under a deed of trust against loss or damage caused by the invalid title in the borrower, or loss of priority of the mortgage or deed of trust. The policy will be in effect until the mortgage is paid in full.
Escrow is a term that describes the neutral third-party handling of funds,
documents, and tasks specific to
the closing as outlined on the real estate purchase agreement or the sales
contract. Once an offer on a
home or other real property has been accepted by the seller, the transaction is
then placed into “escrow”.
Why is it needed? It facilitates the transaction by managing the disbursement of funds and documents. It also provides assurance that no funds or property will change hands until all instructions for the transaction have been completed