Real estate records are county public records. The records track ownership of land in various Florida counties that go back hundreds of years. Often they include historically dense documents. A critical aspect of a real estate closing is handling title adequately. It is wise to retain an experienced Ocala real estate attorney to conduct a title search in or around that area to confirm there is clear title before a real estate sale closes.Title Search
Title searches are conducted in connection with closings, mortgage foreclosures, partition actions, and quiet title actions. They help determine a parcel of real property’s legal status. Title searches reveal who owns a property and who has a claim to it.
When someone is buying residential real estate in Florida, she assumes that the seller has authority to legally transfer the property and the improvements built on it. The improvements may include additions to the house, installation of a fence, pouring of a driveway, development of a septic system and more. All of these are supposed to be free and clear of encumbrances or liens. When a seller isn’t able to transfer clear and marketable title to a buyer, there shouldn’t be a closing. This is because a seller can’t transfer property to which he doesn’t have clear and marketable title.
The title search is conducted to determine whether the seller is indeed the legal property owner and whether there are claims or clouds on the title of the property. A cloud on title might exist where a contractor wasn’t paid for improvements performed on a home. A cloud on title could also exist where someone took out an equity line on the house and then passed away leaving the property to his son or daughter, who then tries to sell it. A cloud on title might also exist where an easement was granted that benefits a neighboring property, but wasn’t revealed by the seller.
Anything that disrupts clear title is a cloud on title. A seller must resolve any clouds on title in order for a sale to go through. A real estate attorney or the title company can investigate the real estate records and track down whether there are any clouds on title. After a buyer has the title report, the seller is required to fix the problems that the report identifies. Where title can’t be cleared for a closing, it may not be possible for the closing to occur. Sometimes this is because the buyer walks away from the sale, but in other cases, a lender won’t provide the loan where there isn’t clear title.Title Insurance
It is critical to get title insurance. A title insurance policy represents to a buyer that there is clear and marketable title to the real estate, meaning that nobody will come and make a claim on the property or try to get it back. Owner’s title insurance is a policy that covers owners of real estate in case there’s a title defect, an enforceable lien, or another legal claim against the property that could cause a loss. The mortgage lender gets a mortgagee title insurance policy.
Most mortgage lenders will not lend money without title insurance because of the possibility that somebody out there has a claim on the property. When there is some sort of claim on the property, there is the possibility of litigation. When there is a successful lawsuit that claims against a policy-holder’s title, the coverage pays for any resulting damages.Skillful Real Estate Attorneys Serving Ocala
If you need an experienced lawyer to represent you in a title search during an Ocala real estate closing, we may be able to help. Michael E. Dean and Timothy S. Dean are the attorneys of the Dean Law Firm and they possess decades of combined experience. We offer tenacious and seasoned legal counsel and representation. Call (352) 387-8700 to set up a free consultation or contact us online.