Buying or selling a home can be filled excitement and adventure and really wild things. But before anyone gets to sign on the dotted line, there’s a critical step that comes always first: the title exam. Also known as a title search, it’s like a property’s background check. It ensures everything is safe and sound. It’s where every closing starts.

So, what is a title exam, exactly? It’s a thorough investigation conducted by a professional examiner who sifts through the courthouse books seeking anything affecting a property’s history. This expert dives deep into public records to track a property’s ownership and uncover potential issues. They’re like detectives, piecing together a property’s story from all sorts of different legal and public documents.

Why is this important? Well, the title exam reveals crucial information, such as who legally owns a property and if there are any liens or claims against it. Liens can come from unpaid mortgages, property taxes, or even contractors who worked on the house but weren’t paid. After all, no one wants to buy a house only to find out someone else has a legal claim to it or there’s a huge tax bill that needs to be paid. That’d be a total bummer.

The title exam also uncovers any easements or restrictions on a property’s use. Maybe there’s a right of way through the backyard or rules about what can and can’t be built. Maybe the property is in a historic district. Knowing these details is crucial to understand how a property can be used and enjoyed.

In other words, the title exam is super important.

For metro-Atlanta counties, the typical turnaround time for a title exam is usually two to four business days. Counties outside the metro area may take longer, as may any property with significant title issues. Title orders can be rush ordered and, depending upon the county, the exam may come back the same day.

Harlan Florence is an Atlanta-based boutique law firm that believes there's a better way to handle your real estate closing. We'd love to work with you. Contact us today, and let's see what we can do together.
Photo by Stephen Harlan on Unsplash

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