8 Significant Issues a Title Search Can Find

what a title search can find

A title search can find significant issues that need to be resolved before you can close on your new home.

Before you can close on your new home purchase, a title search must be conducted to guarantee that there are no issues that will prevent or challenge your ownership of the property. Any problems that a title search produces must be resolved before you can close on your home purchase. Below are eight title issues a title search can find, and which title insurance can protect you from in the future. 

Errors in Public Records

Mistakes happen, but clerical or filing areas could affect the deed or survey of your property. Your title search can find these errors by searching public records. 

Unknown Liens

Prior owners of your property may have left debt connected to the home. Banks or other financing companies can place liens on the property for unpaid debts, even after you have closed the sale. This can be quite troublesome if not caught early, because you can get stuck with someone else’s debt!

Illegal Deeds

If a prior deed was made by a minor, a person of unsound mind, one who is reported single but is married, or someone with other potential complications, this may affect prior and present homeownership. If someone “owned” the home, but was not legally able to, this can affect the entire chain of ownership and must be resolved. 

Missing Heirs

When a homeowner dies, the ownership of the home may fall to their heirs or a person named in their will. However, these heirs may be missing or unknown at the time of death. Sometimes other family members will contest the will and claim property rights. These scenarios can often happen after you have claimed ownership of the home. While a title search can find heirs to resolve the issue, title insurance can protect you from heirs or relatives contesting you for the property. Similar issues can arise if a previously undiscovered will comes to light, which assigns property ownership to someone else.


Forged or fabricated documents that affect property ownership may be found in public records, which confuses the rightful owner of the home. 

Unknown Easements

A title search can find any previously unknown easements that prevent you from using your property as you’d like. These easements can allow government agencies, businesses, or other third parties to access your property. 

Boundary and Survey Disputes

If another survey exists that shows different property boundaries than you had previously seen, this can be a complication. This can be dangerous because a neighbor or other party may be able to use that survey to claim ownership. 

False Impersonation of the Previous Owner

Yes, sometimes common or similar names make it possible to falsely “impersonate” a property owner. If you purchase a home sold by a false owner, you risk losing your legal claim to the property.

A title search can find these various claims and issues by using information from all public records of the property to verify the information you have. Once your title search is clear, you can close your home purchase and add title insurance to protect you for as long as you own your home.

A Title Company You Can Trust: Colony Title

At Colony Title, we will help you through the process of getting your property’s title and help you avoid the pitfalls of hidden costs while you buy your home. We are also well trained in identifying any and all errors in public records and helping you resolve them. We specialize in real estate title insurance in both Maryland and Washington, D.C., and we will perform an expert title search, check through all past documentation, and examine records for any fraud or forgery. For more information on how we can get you into the home of your dreams, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 884-1160. To get more updates on housing markets and how to get into your home, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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