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Common title disputes, explained

Finding the perfect piece of real estate is worth celebrating, but first you need to finalize the closing. In many cases, the closing goes smoothly but this does not simply happen on its own. A good deal of work happens behind closed doors, over the phone and through email to finalize this transaction and without these steps the sale can fall through.

Whether looking to buy a residential or commercial property, one important process to review is the title. Unfortunately, issues involving a property’s title are not uncommon. Real estate experts report that as many as one in three real estate transactions can be held up by a title issue.

What exactly is a title?

A title essentially refers to the legal rights tied to the property. Various issues can arise that result in a defect to the title. Some common examples include bankruptcies, a dispute over payment to a contractor who completed work on the property, referred to as a mechanic’s lien, or a shared driveway.

What if a title search results in a title defect?

You have options if a title search results in the discovery of a defect. If the defect involves a shared driveway, for example, you may need to negotiate an agreement with any other owners that are impacted by the shared piece of land. Navigating these negotiations can be tricky, and it is important to understand the impact of an agreement before you sign. If you are not careful, you could agree to take on additional obligations that could lead to surprises in the future.

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