While purchasing a house may be among the major life-changing decisions you can make, rushing into it can be counter-productive. You have to consider some critical steps during the process. Getting an inspection, a house appraisal, and performing a title search are crucial factors you have to keep in mind.
When it comes to title searches, it is wise to have ample time to avoid unforeseen delays. Also, you have to understand what a title search entails to get a rough idea of how long it can take.
What Does a Title Search Entail?
A title search is an inspection of relevant records to get as much information about the property’s title background as possible. To achieve this, you have to check through court records, property indexes, deeds, and name indexes to name a few. The search offers proof that the seller is legally entitled to sell the property.
Additionally, the search is a form of assurance that you will get full possession of the property without any hiccups. It helps avoid hindrances such as judgments and liens as well as mortgage, title, and other outstanding claims. Going through these records determines the time a complete title search will take.
How Long It Takes
A title search does not have a definitive timeframe that it takes to conduct. This is because many factors determine how long it will take. A few of them include:
· The transaction and duration history of the property.
· The availability and number of records that need to be scrutinized.
· The type of the property.
· The existence of unresolved concerns such as liens and other title issues.
· The nature of the transaction.
Taking the above factors into consideration, a title search can take a period ranging from a few hours to a couple of weeks. Understandably, a title search for a new property will take a shorter period than an old property. The more records there are to verify, the longer the process will take.
Title Searches Using a Title Company
Due to the countless records that have to be meticulously scrutinized, most house buyers opt to use title companies to conduct the searches. These companies have to go over all the records prior to issuing their clients with a title insurance. The companies eventually offer lender's or owner's title insurance following their determination that the property can be insured.
A lender's interest is protected by the lender's title insurance when he or she wants to borrow money from a financial institution to buy the property. With this protection, no one else can claim a stake of the property. On the other hand, the owner's interests are protected by the owner's title insurance from anyone else claiming a stake in the property after the transaction is complete.
The Curing Period
Usually, it takes about 10 to 14 days for a title to be cleared. However, if there are unresolved issues regarding the property’s title, a curing period begins. During the curing period, the title company will solve the issues regarding the title. This will cause some delay for the title policy to clear.
For instance, if your title examiner finds documents showing a lien on the property, they will seek to obtain a payment statement from the lien’s holder. If not, they will pay off the lien. Since the officers are professionals, they dig through the piles of records, which will also reduce the time it would take for you to do it yourself.
Issuing a Title Policy
After your title company has conducted a search, examined, and cured the property’s title, its insurability can be conclusively determined. Before closing the transaction, the company will inform you of any major shortcomings they discover in the title. You will soon after receive a policy of title insurance in the event that the title is insurable.
If there are issues they could not cure or others that you have accepted to take the risk for, a title with “clouds” will suffice. For professional title companies, the entire process should not exceed a period of a fortnight. However, extenuating circumstances can cause this period to fluctuate.
In conclusion, the period it takes to conduct a title search is subjective. Various factors make every title search different from another. Furthermore, you could experience a delay when conducting a title search due to factors beyond your reach.
Your title company could encounter technical difficulties during the process, creating a delay. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic period, quarantines, lockdowns, and other measures have slowed down numerous official services. The amount of time taken to perform a title search will continue to change due to these factors.