When Can Title Issues Affect a Real Estate Transaction?
During a residential real estate transaction, both the buyer and the seller will need to meet multiple requirements to ensure that the sale can be completed. In some cases, issues may arise that affect the title to the property, and if these are not addressed correctly, the sale may not proceed. Buyers and sellers will need to understand the different types of title issues that can play a role in a real estate transaction, and by working with an attorney, they can determine the best ways to address these matters.
Common Encumbrances and Title Issues
Some title issues that may affect the sale of residential property are known as “encumbrances,” and they involve a claim against the property by a third party. Other issues may affect the ownership of the property by the current owner or the ways the property can be used. Title issues that can arise during a real estate transaction include:
Liens - If a property owner owes money to a person or organization, a lien may be placed on their property, and these liens must be resolved before the property can be sold. These may include tax liens based on unpaid federal or state income taxes or local property taxes, mechanic’s liens used by a contractor or supplier to collect payment for work done on the property, or liens for unpaid child support or spousal support.
Easements - In some cases, a person other than the owner may be given permission to use the property, or restrictions may be placed on the types of construction or improvements that can be performed. Buyers will need to understand whether these types of easements will impose any restrictions on them after they take ownership of the property.
Boundary disputes - If there is any disagreement about the boundary lines between a property and the neighboring properties, a new survey may need to be performed to ensure that the boundary lines are fully understood by all parties.
Wills and heirs - Following the death of a property owner, multiple family members or heirs may believe that they have an ownership claim to the property based on the person’s will or the laws of intestate succession. Any claims by a property owner’s alleged heirs will need to be resolved before the property can be sold.
Clerical errors - Public records that include details about a property and its owner may have errors that would affect the sale, such as misspelled names or addresses, inaccurate square footage, or incorrect information about the property’s boundaries. These errors will need to be corrected before the transaction can proceed.
Contact Our Fairfield County Residential Real Estate Lawyer
The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner can provide you with legal representation during your real estate transaction. We will perform a title search to uncover any issues that may affect the sale, and we will make sure you take the right steps to resolve these issues successfully. Contact our Stamford real estate attorney at 203-348-5846 to set up a free consultation today.