If your parent recently died and left his or her house to you and your siblings, you may want to conduct a title search on the property before deciding what to do with the house. While you could hire a real estate lawyer to do this, you could save some money by performing the search on your own. This type of search can reveal a lot of information about a piece of property, and it is not hard to do if you know what you're looking for.
What This Will Reveal
A title search on a property is something that is used to determine if the property title is clean. Completing a title search will inform you of the following things:
- Loan – It will tell you if there is a loan on the property, and it will tell you the name of the person that has the loan.
- Liens – Title searches are also used to determine if there are any claims on the property, and these are called liens. Back property taxes are a common type of lien found on property.
- Rights – Researching the title of a house will also help you discover if anyone has any rights to the property, such as a relative, utility company, or neighbor.
These are all good things to know if you will be keeping the property or selling it.
How This Is Done
When completing a title search, you will need to visit your local courthouse to access public records. This will include:
- Viewing the legal description – By visiting the assessor's office, you can look up the property by giving the assessor the physical address of the property. This will help you find out the parcel number and legal description of the house. This will also help you determine if there are liens or rights attached to the property.
- Background information on the property – While you are at the courthouse, the assessor can also help you look up background information on the property. This can tell you who owned it before your parent, and it will help you find out if the deed to the property is titled to your parent. You may also be able to view prior deeds to the house to compare them. By doing this, you can find any discrepancies that might cause problems later on.
By completing this search, you can find out if there are any problems with the title of the house. If you prefer to hire a professional to do this for you, hire a real estate attorney in your area. To learn more, contact Schulze Howard & Cox.