Everything You Need To Know About Preliminary Title Reports

title reports

Understanding title documents is important for every homeowner.

Once both the buyer and seller have reached an agreement, but just prior to settlement, a preliminary title report needs to be compiled and reviewed. Although not a very enticing document to scan, it should be examined very carefully. This ensures that the buyer is getting a valid title to the property.

The Legal Description

This is not simply the address of the property. On a title report, it is the actual description of what the buyer owns. This means it is written based on the exact boundaries of the property. This can include any land and air rights that accompany the property itself. In cases of purchasing a condominium or other planned unit of development (PUD), there will be a description of your rights to various common areas within the building. Furthermore, there may be an inclusion of any easements or parking details associated with a PUD.

Property Taxes

Typically, any property taxes show us a primary lien on purchased property. This occurs because a property is unable to be bought if there are unpaid property taxes on it. In the legal description, there will be a designation of either paid or owed to the state, county, or city, respectively. More often than not, taxes must be paid before any debt holder, such as a lender gets paid.

Mortgage Liens

In a title report, mortgage liens are almost always listed right under property taxes. After a sale is closed, any outstanding liens need to be paid in full. This ensures that they appear paid on the title report.


  • Short Sale: In this type of situation, a lender is typically still owed money even after the sale closes. In that case, the only way to get a clear title is to have the lender pay off the difference.


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, LinkedIn, and Google+.

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