Title work begins with a title search. A title search verifies that the seller actually owns the house and finds liens on the house. The buyer’s attorney orders the search to make sure the house is free and clear of all liens at closing.
Why is it a problem to order the title search late? Because if a problem is discovered, there may not be enough time to fix it by the scheduled closing date. This can create a horrible situation for everyone.
Currently there’s a major delay in a closing. It’s an estate sale (seller is deceased) so no one knew the home was refinanced twice. Both refi loans showed up as liens although paid in full because the banks didn’t record them properly. One was cleared up in a few days but the other is a mess. So far the closing is delayed nearly one month.
The buyer needs to move in – they’re nearly at the end of their lease with a new tenant coming in. The heir is using the proceeds to buy the house of his dreams. The buyer may end up in a hotel paying storage on her things and the seller may lose the house he loves.
The attorney ordered title late to be certain the transaction will get to closing. I feel this is an archaic procedure. Title searches cost a few hundred dollars; this delay will cost both sides thousands.
It is true. Whether you’re buying a house or selling a house, title work is important. Ordering it late can create havoc. Everything in life is a risk. Make sure your attorney orders title early on to avoid trouble like this.