5 Common Title Issues When Selling a Property

If you’re selling your house and have to deal with a title issue, you probably can’t proceed with the sale. This can be quite troublesome, especially if you’re in a hurry to sell the property. The only way to prevent this from happening is to know what kind of title issues usually happen and how they can be resolved. Here are a few of them:

Known Liens and Encumbrances

This is one of the most common issues that you may have to deal with. Known liens and encumbrances are problems that are already on the title when you purchase the home. The original seller of the property usually knows about the issues and has already disclosed them in the contract.

If a known lien or encumbrance exists, you need to make sure that it is listed in the contract. It will then be known to both you and the seller and will be recorded in the public record. Once this is done, the issue is legally resolved. The property can then be sold as normal.

Surprise Liens and Encumbrances

Here, you will have to check out the title yourself. A surprise lien or encumbrance will not be disclosed by the previous owner. You will be the first one to find out about the issue because it wasn’t in the contract and wasn’t listed on the title.

A title search will be necessary to find out if this is the case. This can be done by contacting the county recorder’s office. Once you determine that a surprise lien or encumbrance exists, you can decide how to proceed.

The most common action is to file a lawsuit against the party responsible. The lawsuit will then be used to clear your title. The other possible option is to settle out of court.

Deceased Heirs

If an owner of your property has passed away and leaves behind an heir, it may be necessary to contact the deceased beneficiary’s attorney and have them submit a consent or denial letter with the rest of the documents. Without the consent or denial letter, the heir to the property cannot be excluded from the transfer of title.

Undisclosed Mortgages

Undisclosed mortgages are definitely problematic. The buyer will usually find out about this when the title search is being processed, and the mortgage comes up missing. This can cause a real problem for the buyer and make it difficult to proceed with the sale because the buyer will have to pay off the mortgage early and get the deed so that the sale can proceed. To make things even more complicated, if the mortgage is a lien, the lien could be foreclosed and repossessed, leaving the property with no owner.

There are steps that you can take to prevent this from happening, but it is still something that you should be aware of. Before you purchase a house, check out the title and remove any unpaid mortgages or liens. If there are any mortgages or liens on the property when you get it, pay them off.

Boundary or Survey Disputes

Survey disputes may arise if the boundaries of your property aren’t properly listed on the title. This could happen because of an error in the survey paperwork. The boundaries may also not be listed in state or county records because the survey was never submitted.

The only way to solve this dispute is to settle out of court or pursue legal action. Surveys can be done to determine where the property lines really are. This will cost some money, but it is usually worth it to make sure that you get the property that you are paying for.

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Title issues often arise when you’re selling your house. These issues are sometimes caused by the previous owner, but there are times when you will have to deal with them yourself. You need to know how to resolve these issues and how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

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