A title search is a relatively simple action you can take to help uncover problems with a property before you buy. Though this is commonly done by the title company during the escrow process, there’s no reason you can’t do your own title search ahead of time. If you can handle a simple records request, you can easily handle the search process. Here’s everything you need to know about performing a title search yourself.

Why perform a title search?

There are many reasons a prospective buyer might wish to engage in a title search prior to investing in a property. These searches are typically part of the process to obtain title insurance needed to complete the purchase. They can also reveal many relevant details about the property in question, such as the legal owner, mortgages issued, and the presence of any other debts or liens that may have been issued against the property.

How to Perform the Search

While the exact steps for doing a title search can differ from state to state, the general process remains the same. The first step is to determine the parcel number for the property on which you intend to conduct the search. This information can be found online by searching the property by address on the county tax assessor’s website. In some instances, you may need to visit the office in person to obtain the necessary information.

Once you have provided the parcel number, you may be required to enter additional information such as the property’s address or planning application number. Once all the necessary information has been furnished, you should have access to the relevant records for the property. This will give you all the information you need to uncover any troubling details about the title.

What to do next

After your title search is complete, you can approach the seller about any issues with the title you may have discovered. If the issues are serious enough, you might even want to consider purchasing a different property altogether.

A clean title is good indication that you can purchase the property you’ve had your eye on without reservation. Ideally, your search should show that the property is held by its true registered owner and has no liens or other legal disputes against it.

Title searches are just one of the many important steps involved in the homebuying process. For a knowledgeable partner to help guide you and your family into your dream home, contact the mortgage experts at First Ohio Home Finance today.