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What makes a title defective?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2023 | Real Estate |

Purchasing property often involves subsequent procedures necessary to ensure the sale goes through without legal or financial issues. These steps can also help detect problems with the property that may not be visible immediately, such as title defects.

When a title is defective, it can cause problems when organizing paperwork or information, potentially delaying the transfer of ownership to the buyer. These defects can vary from minor issues to significant discrepancies that may require extensive work. In any case, a title can be defective if it has the following:

  • Liens or claims against the property
  • Inconsistencies or errors in the paperwork, such as incorrect details or missing signatures
  • Owed taxes on the property
  • Discrepancies in the property’s ownership history
  • False documents filed for the property
  • Survey conflicts

Other situations can result in title defects, such as unknown heirs claiming to have inherited the property at some point before the sale. If this happens, the buyer might need to review ways to clarify the confusion and determine if their purchase is valid. These issues may also appear long after closing the sale, adding complications based on the circumstances.

Doing due diligence adequately

In any property purchase, it is essential to do adequate due diligence. The seller is responsible for disclosing standard details about the property, but some issues are not as obvious. When doing due diligence on the property, it may be helpful to do a title search before sealing the deal. It might not ensure the title is clear, but it can detect issues that may arise based on the available paperwork.

When in doubt, there is no harm in seeking legal counsel before closing the sale. Doing so can help determine the appropriate options to secure the property’s title and address any possible obstacles.