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Common real estate title issues

Closing on a piece of real estate is an exciting experience, but sometimes issues can arise during the process.

Title issues can hold up real estate transactions, but most are quickly resolvable.

What are the most common title issues?

Before you close on a property, you should read through the title thoroughly and have a professional help you vet any potential issues. Some common title issues include:

  • Breaks in the title chain
  • Title liens
  • Boundary or survey disputes
  • A flawed legal description of the property
  • Issues with foreclosure
  • Identity concerns
  • Probate problems
  • Heirs not yet located

You may have issues with the seller that appear in the title as well. For example, they may not have the legal right to sell the property, or perhaps a previous owner filed for bankruptcy. Finding these title issues can be challenging. Sometimes there are issues you may not even recognize.

How do you resolve them?

The key to resolving title issues is finding them before you close. You start by conducting a search for the title to reveal any potential issues. Some defects in a title are solvable after closing is complete. However, most professionals will tell you that it is in your best interest to solve them before the property is yours.

If you find issues post-closing, you still have options to reach a resolution. For example, you can typically settle property boundary disputes in negotiations.

Sometimes the excitement of closing on an agreement can lead to making rash decisions. Remaining thorough and patient during title searches and evaluations is the safest way to close.

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