Before you buy a house, you may want to consider making an appointment with real estate attorney to review the title. Although you may consider the pre-purchase title search to be inconsequential, it's actually an important part of the process. That title search provides you with title insurance to protect you from many potential post-purchase issues. Here are several potential problems that a real estate attorney can help you detect or avoid.
You might receive a notice from a financing company that there's an outstanding lien on the property you're buying. Often, this is because a previous owner failed to pay a loan for which the home was collateral. If this happens, you'll want to talk with your real estate attorney about having the issue settled with the prior owner. Even though it isn't your debt, the lender has every right to place a lien on the property until the balance is paid.
Third-Party Land Rights
In some cases, you may need to have legal documentation drafted to support an encumbrance or covenant. If there's an unresolved former mortgage, property restriction or other problem, a real estate attorney can negotiate and settle the problem within the terms of the local laws. If you need a contract drafted for specific access or land use, your attorney can do this as well.
Mistakes in Public Records
Mistakes can happen to the best of us, particularly when you're dealing with paperwork, data entry, and records filing. Clerical errors found in public records, including land records, can affect your rights of ownership. For example, if the title research indicates that the title is clear but there's an ownership question that got overlooked in the data entry, it could pose a long-term ownership problem for you.
If you're buying a home that's a component of a larger estate, you'll want to have a real estate attorney investigate the family, heirs, and ownership records. Sometimes, a distant family member can appear who wants to contest their rights to the land. You're not exempt from it even after the sale closes – this can happen at any time. It's in your best interest to conduct a thorough background investigation on any estate property before you buy to avoid this risk.
As you can see, there are many potential issues that can arise during a home purchase. Sometimes, having a real estate attorney on retainer is the best measure of protection you can have. Talk with a real estate attorney sbefore you approach the closing table for your sale so that you can be sure that it all works out as intended.