Finding the right home in the right neighborhood is no easy task. The last thing you want to deal with is the discovery of a problem during the title search weeks or even days before closing. These problems, often referred to as encumbrances, can make it difficult to transfer ownership of the property.
What types of issues lead to a problem with the title search?
A mechanic’s lien is a common example. This happens when a contractor or sub-contractor completes work on the property and then believes that they were not properly paid. They put a lien out on the property and demand payment. Or the seller paid the contractor, but the contractor failed to file the paperwork to remove the lien. This is a process the title company refers to as the “satisfaction” of the lien.
How can I get this problem fixed so we can move on with the sale?
Thankfully, there are ways to resolve this issue and move forward. You can continue negotiations with the seller. Buying real estate is an ongoing negotiation. You can likely come back to the negotiating table with the seller if a title search discovers a problem. You can request the seller resolve the issue prior to closing. In the example of the mechanics lien noted above this could mean the seller pays the bill and gets the lien removed from the property before the sale is complete.
In many cases a buyer hires a title company or legal counsel to deal with these issues on their behalf. That way they can focus on the other things that require their attention prior to closing and leave this process to the professionals.