Buying a new home is cause for excitement, but a home purchase also requires due diligence throughout the process. Before buying a residential property of any kind — single-family or multi-family — a title search should be high on your list of things to do. An experienced real estate attorney can conduct a title search for you, as well as protect your rights and interests at every other step in the process, from conducting the title search to drafting, reviewing and revising of the purchase agreement.
Issues a title search may reveal
Title searches reveal important information about a property. Along with ownership history, a title search can reveal any liens, encumbrances, easements or restrictions on the property. For example, a thorough title search can reveal any boundary disputes on record, as well as any legal judgements against the seller or the party who owned the property prior to the current seller. In general, a title search can help you avoid unwanted surprises, such as ownership claims from a seller’s relatives. These kinds of issues can be very costly if they arise, and it is best to know about them up front.
Don’t go into a home purchase blindly
Real estate agents generally do not conduct title searches, so you should not assume that the title of a property is clear just because the property is on the market. Another thing to keep in mind is that each party in a real estate purchase — the lender, the real estate agent, the buyer, the seller, etc. — is hoping to gain something, and often each party’s interests are competing against the other parties’ interests. Having your own attorney is the best way to make sure your interests are protected. To learn more about these matters, please see our Pennsylvania residential real estate overview.