When you purchase a piece of real estate, ownership transfers when the former owner hands over title to the property. Title means that you have the legal right to use and possess the property as you see fit. However, the title to a particular piece of land may not be “clean”, meaning that others may have an interest in the property. If this is the case, you may not own your property outright which can keep you from completing a real estate transaction. To protect yourself against this situation, you should always purchase title insurance and have a title search conducted prior to signing on the dotted line.
The following are some of the common issues that may arise with a real estate title:
- Fraudulent or forged ownership documents
- Unidentified easements1
- Unidentified encumbrances2
- Undisclosed liens on the property
- Mistakes in public records regarding the property
- Boundary disputes
- Undiscovered last will and testament of a deceased owner
- Unknown or missing heirs of a previous owner
- False identity or impersonation of owner
- Deeds that were created illegally
If you discover that you have a title issue that arose before you purchased the property, title insurance will help protect your rights as the real estate owner. Additionally, most lenders require that you have title insurance coverage and a clear title prior to receiving financing for your purchase.
Contact an experienced Seattle real estate lawyer for a free phone consultation today
If you are about to engage in any type of real estate transaction, you should always have an experienced and knowledgeable real estate lawyer guiding you through the process. A lawyer will know all of the steps that you need to take and can help you address and settle any disputes that may arise in regard to the property or transaction. At the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, we have helped many people complete both commercial and residential real estate transactions. It is our goal to make your real estate transaction go as smoothly as possible. Call our office today at 253-572-1000 for free initial consultation over the phone.