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Title issues can delay residential real estate closings

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2023 | Real Estate Law

Buying a home is an exciting journey filled with anticipation and dreams of a new future. This journey can hit unexpected roadblocks, particularly regarding title issues. While often overlooked, these issues can significantly delay the closing process of a residential home, leading to frustration and uncertainty for both buyers and sellers.

A title to a property is a legal document that establishes the property owner’s rights. It provides a clear history of ownership, but this isn’t the case sometimes. When the title has problems, it can slow down the closing process.

Discovering hidden liens and judgments

One of the most common title issues arises from undiscovered liens or judgments against the property. These can stem from unpaid debts, such as back taxes, contractor fees or court judgments. The liens mean the property can’t be legally transferred to a new owner until these debts are resolved. This can lead to significant delays because resolving these liens often involves paying off debts or undergoing legal processes to remove them.

Clerical errors and inaccuracies

Another issue that can delay closing is errors in public records. Examples include mistakes in the property’s legal description, filing errors or inaccuracies in previous deed recordings. These errors can cast doubt on the legal ownership of the property and require careful review and correction, which can be a time-consuming process. 

Title issues, though often complex, are a crucial aspect of the home-buying process that shouldn’t be overlooked. Buyers and sellers can navigate these challenges more effectively by understanding the potential problems and working with professionals. Addressing title issues early in the process can help avoid delays and ensure a smoother path to closing.