There are so many different types of real estate documents, we understand it can be challenging to keep them all straight! Our experienced document retrieval and title search team is here to break down what a title search is and how they work.
What is a Title Search?
A property title search is a thorough investigation of public records on a piece of real estate that establishes ownership. It also provides tax information as well as all liens, whether voluntary or involuntary.
Title searches are conducted through a search of real estate property records at the county courthouse where the property is located. All information found is then used to create a property title report. The report usually includes copies of any documents found that are filed against the property.
Types of Title Searches
here are many different types of title searches available! We provide the following types of title search reports:
- Current owner search/Ownership & Encumbrance Report - reports on the current title holder of the property, or the last deed for consideration.
- Two owner search report - this search looks at the previous two "out of family" deeds and reports up to the present time.
- 10, 20, or 30-year title search report - We can search through property titles for a specified number of years, including only the documents you need.
- Historical title search report - this title search gives you a snapshot of how the title looked at a certain point in time. We'll search through public records and provide you with the documents that were open for the property at that time.
- Bankruptcy title search - we'll search for any bankruptcy cases, as well as voluntary and involuntary liens, taxes owed, and homestead deeds.
- Foreclosure title search - this search report provides you with everything you need to proceed with foreclosure on a property. Our comprehensive foreclosure search can go as far back as 30 years, depending on your specific needs.
What is Involved in a Title Search?
A title search of a property generally starts off with establishing its current ownership, though it can go further back to establish previous owners if needed.
The researcher, also called an abstractor, continues the search to locate any encumbrances on the property, such as mortgages, liens, and judgments. The county tax roles are also reviewed to note if taxes are paid up to date or delinquent.
How Long Does a Title Search Take?
A title search can be done in as little as an hour or two but can also take several days to complete.
In some cases, the abstractor must go back many years (50+) to locate the necessary deed! Then, they continue to examine records moving forward up to the present.
Many documents filed on the property over the years would need to be reviewed as well as any possible issues found that may cloud a title.
Who Performs a Title Search?
Title Searches are performed by attorneys or title abstractors, who are trained and knowledgeable on the guidelines of what needs to be reported in a title search. Different states have different guideline requirements, but it's best to leave a title search up to the professionals.
What Do Title Searches Reveal?
Title Searches provide information of any documents filed against a property, which “tell the story” over a specific period of time.
Such documents include:
- Deeds (often showing the chain of ownership)
- Property's legal description
- Tax Information, including tax liens
- Voluntary liens, such as mortgages and home equity lines of credit
- Involuntary liens and judgments
- Divorce cases
- Probate cases
- Any title issues found
How Much Does a Title Search Cost?
A fair range for the cost of a title search is anywhere from $50 - $250.
The prices vary so much due to the property being searched and where it is located.
For example, a house built in the last few years has a very short history, making the search quick and inexpensive. On the other hand, an older house that requires the search to go back many years, especially one with a lot of changing of hands or possible boundary disputes, can take quite a while to locate everything and sort it all out for the title report.
Also, location plays a factor as well; a rural, out-of-the-way county sometimes has not modernized its public records. This means the abstractor will have to manually go through deed books, as opposed to computerized records, which make the search take much longer than usual.
What are Title Searches Used For?
Title Searches are used in real estate closings, but are also used by attorneys, investors, and investigators for general informational/due diligence purposes.
Nationwide Title Search Services
Blue Streak Docs has been a property title search leader in the mortgage industry since 2010.
Our many types of title searches can be used for informational/due diligence purposes and can be customized to include only the information you need. Our geo footprint is the entire United States and we possess the knowledge and experience necessary to provide you with fast and accurate results.
Contact us today to get started!