For many people, buying a piece of property, especially a home or business, can be a very exciting but stressful time. There are so many things to do, so many documents to sign and understand, that having a good real estate lawyer is vital to the process. There is a title search to be done, title insurance to be obtained, closing date and costs to negotiate, home inspection and/or property inspection to schedule, and much more. Without a good closing attorney, the whole process may seem an unclimbable mountain. One of the first steps of that climb is the title search.
What is a Title Search?
A title search in Massachusetts is used to determine whether or not the seller has the legal right to sell the property, whether or not there are any land or property use restrictions, if there are any easements, and/or liens on the property, and how much those liens will be to pay off at closing. Liens could include a number of things, including back taxes, mortgage payments, and other assessments. The title search can provide security for the buyer, both legal and emotional, since it helps insure that you won’t hit trouble later down the road. Together, a title search and title insurance will protect you from many scenarios, such as relatives coming forward to make a claim on property that you have already purchased, and tax collectors who may try to claim they have not been paid. Once the title search has been done, if any issues have been found, you may choose to pay them yourself and have the seller lower the price on the property, or ask the seller to pay them before moving forward with the sale.
Who Performs the Title Search?
In any real estate deal, the buyer will need to perform a title search on the property that is expected to change hands. In the state of Massachusetts, a real estate attorney and/or closing lawyer is required by law to be on hand for the closing…so it is best to let the attorney handle to title search as well. Performing a title search is just one of the many jobs that he or she will handle throughout the process of the sale of property. The state of Massachusetts now has rules set in place that allow the real estate attorney to handle the entire process of the sale. This means that you can save a great deal of money by not having to hire a separate closing attorney to handle it for you. If you need to have a title search done, feel free to give us a call today.