When you decide it's time to purchase a home, you will put in a bid, agree upon terms and take care of any inspections that need to take place. You will also have to have a title search performed.
A title search determines who owns the rights to the property. A title search is performed to make sure that the person selling the home has the right to do so. It also ensures that you, as the buyer, will be getting all of the rights to the property that you are purchasing.
Typically a title search is completed by a title company within the jurisdiction of the property. In some areas, an attorney will do the search. In any case, most buyers will purchase a title insurance policy to ensure that they are getting a valid title.
One of the purposes of completing a title search is to find out if there are any judgments attached to the title, called liens. These judgments must be satisfied before the home can be officially sold. In most cases, the seller will have to satisfy the liens before the buyer purchases the home. Liens may be placed for past due federal and state taxes, overdue property taxes and more.
If you have any questions regarding a title search on your new property, an experienced real estate agent can assist you. Your real estate agent has knowledge of title searches, any defects you may come across and how to ensure that the title to your new home is clear.