Real Estate Glossary

What is Examination of Title?

An examination of title is the process of researching and reviewing the legal ownership and history of a property. The examination is performed to verify that the seller of the property has the legal right to sell it, and to identify any potential issues or liens that may affect the property's ownership. The examination of title typically involves a review of public records, such as deeds and mortgages, to confirm the chain of ownership and to identify any outstanding debts or liens against the property. The examiner also looks for other potential issues that could affect the property's ownership, such as zoning restrictions, building code violations, or outstanding taxes. This process is often performed by a title company, or attorney, who will conduct the research, review the findings and provide a title report or an abstract of title that summarizes the research and any issues that were found. The title report will also include any easements, covenants, or other restrictions on the property that may affect the property's use or ownership. A clear title is an important element in a real estate transaction, as it provides assurance to the buyer that they are getting good and clear title to the property, and it also protects the lender from any potential legal challenges to the ownership of the property. It's important to note that an examination of title is just one step in the process of buying or selling a property, and it does not guarantee that the property is free from any issues or defects. It's a good idea to review the report carefully, and hire a lawyer to help you understand the results and recommend next steps.