How to perform your own title and lien search


How and Why To Carry Out A Preliminary Title and Lien Search

When buying a new home or property you may be startled by the number of extra expenses that start getting added to the expense of the purchase. You full well expect to pay six or seven figures for the property and you know there is a commission for the broker and perhaps taxes to be paid, depending on the state, but smaller things can also add up. In particular, many home buyers find themselves tempted to cut costs when it comes to having the property in question properly inspected and researched. This might be a matter of not having a surveyor check for subsidence or property inspector for termites etc., but it could also mean skipping out on a detailed title search and searching for liens attached to the property.

Liens are public notices attached by a creditor to property announcing that the owner owes a debt to be collected upon the value of the property. In essence, the value of the debt is held against the property. As a buyer, it’s important to know about any liens against a property in order to ensure they are paid off prior to purchase. More importantly, understanding what is owed on the property gives you negotiating power. For example, if $200,000 is owed on a given property and it is listed for $200,000, there is no room for negotiation unless the seller has the funds to pay the difference. However, if the property is valued/listed for $200,000, and the seller only owes $100,000, the buyer knows that there is some room for negotiation.

Frequently, liens are recorded on a property being sold because debtors are selling precisely in order to pay their debts. If you purchase a home with liens against it without first that ensuring a seller pays them off or adjusting your price to take the liability into account, you may not get the best possible outcome.

U.S. Title Records is able to quickly investigate any given property in the United States for much less than the cost of a conventional preliminary title report through a title company and much faster (30 minutes v.s. a matter of days). After performing a lien search, extra security may be assured by purchasing title insurance. This will cover potential liabilities from any liens added at the last minute before a sale or legal disputes regarding your title.


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