Home Buying in Henry County>Question Details

Annes Dockery, Home Buyer in 30253

is a title and or deed search needed for a cash sale if the owner has both in their possesion?

Asked by Annes Dockery, 30253 Sun Oct 10, 2010

how is this handled?

Help the community by answering this question:


Yes. It's necessary. And it's necessary even if the seller truly owns the home.

As Maggie points out, there can be liens on the property for any number of reasons: unpaid bills, unpaid taxes, unpaid utilities, unpaid repairs.

Or let's say the owner has the deed. But the owner is divorced, and the ex-wife comes along and says that she deserves half the house. Or suppose the owner has a child--even one he may not have known about--who says that he or she is entitled to the house.

You absolutely need to verify clear title.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Absolutely, you want to make sure there are no undisclosed liens and that every thing has been recorded correctly.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
Yes, a title search is mandatory, particularly in this market.

Michael Hammond

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
Sounds like you need two things Annes...A good real estate agent IN YOUR AREA and a good real estate attorney IN YOUR STATE to handle this for you...

Hope this helps and good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
Having them in your possession means nothing as to their history. If you have an agent, get them involved. If they are incapable of advising you or you're flying solo, get an attorney to pull a full title search. You should also consider title insurance - discuss that with the lawyer.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 11, 2010
What is your agent and or attorney advising--if you're not utilizing either service, it's in your best interest to do so--yes, run a title search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 11, 2010
buying and selling real estate is not like signing over a car title - you need professionals involved
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 11, 2010

Good answers - I have to agree with the first respondents point - you have to ask this question, yet you don't have an agent....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 11, 2010
You've received some good advice from both Michael and Nicholas.

In addition, I would add that the reason you need a title search is to make sure that the current owner of the property has not done anything to encumber the property, and create a "cloud" on the title.

For example, the Seller could have left a bill unpaid for work that was done on the home, such as a new roof. The roofer would then file a lien at the county courthouse.

Without a new title search, you wouldn't know this, and could find yourself, as the new owner, responsible for the bill. Even a Seller's unpaid medical bill could result in a judgment and a lien that attaches to the property. So make sure you have a new title search done.

Also, a new deed needs to be created, with you as the owner, and recorded at the county courthouse. This is your "proof" of ownership.

The attorney or title company that conducts your closing needs to perform the title search and examination, and issue your title insurance policy.as well. All of these things protect your interest in the property, so please don't try to buy without obtaining professional help. Good luck with your purchase.

Warm regards,
Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
Watson Realty Corp.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
Hi Annes,

Even if the seller owns the home outright and owes no mortgage on it, and even if the buyer is paying cash and not obtaining a mortgage in order to buy...I would most certainly demand that a title search be done to protect you as the buyer...it is relatively inexpensive, and could save you countless dollars in the future should title issues crop up down the road.

Good luck :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
So, you're the buyer, and you're questioning whether to have an independent third party verify that the person you're going to give all that money to can give you free-and-clear title in return?

What kind of a deed is the seller giving you, anyway, Annes?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 10, 2010
I bought a house recently and I am one of those ignorant ones. I do not know if I had title insurance, is it documented anywhere?

Flag Thu Jan 24, 2013
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