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What is a title search

The title insurer conducts a detailed examination of the historical, public records concerning the property. These records include deeds, court records, property and name indexes and many other public documents.

The purpose of the search is to verify the seller's right to transfer property ownership and to discover any defects or encumbrances on the title. A title search should show all title defects and encumbrances as well as judgments, liens and other restrictions (i.e., unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments against the seller, land-use restrictions, etc.).

Remember, the seller's title policy does not protect you as a buyer. Any title defects could have begun during the seller's ownership and a new title policy will protect your ownership rights when you acquire the property.