Many people wonder why they must have a lawyer to help with buying a house. The answer to this question is, in fact, the most important part of closing on a property. The lawyer and the title company make sure that the new owner actually does legally own the property after the closing.
If any of the steps in the process are skipped or done incorrectly, the previous owner can claim that he still owns the right to the property. What steps need to be completed?
First, it is important to know the difference between a Real Estate Title and a Property Deed. Many people believe they are the same thing, but they are not. The title tells who owns the property. The title tells who has the right to use the property however they want.
On the other hand, the deed is just a notification to everyone that the title to a property has been transferred from one person to another. This legal document must be a written document and it has to be recorded in some way, such as recording it at the courthouse, or the county assessor’s office, or wherever the particular state requires it to be recorded.
In the real estate title transfer process, the lawyer or the title company will make sure that the deed is properly written, that it contains the legal description of the property and that it has been recorded at the correct office.
- It must first be determined who legally owns the property at the present time. The title is the piece of paper that shows who owns the right to the property.
- The lawyer must examine the title meticulously, paying attention to all details. He must find out if there are any easements or restrictions on the title. If any problems show up, this is the stage where the problems must be solved before the real estate title transfer can proceed to the next steps.
- The deed must also be carefully reviewed because if the information on it is incorrect, it will need to be done over again. It must give the full legal name and address of the sellers and the buyers. Most importantly, the legal description of the property must be correct.
- The deed has to be signed by the sellers. Different states have different laws but most require the signature to be notarized and/or witnessed.
- The deed has to be formally recorded wherever your state requires. Typically the deed is recorded at the county recorder’s office. First, the Warranty Deed is recorded and then the Deed of Trust is recorded.
- Usually, the county recorder’s office will then assign a number to the transaction.
At this point, the real estate title transfer is official. When the deed is recorded and that all-important recording number is assigned, that shows that the buyer is on the record. Now anyone can see that the buyer holds the title.