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A title search is an important stage in buying a Florida home because it helps to make sure that you are purchasing a property with no outstanding problems. You do not want to buy a home only to find that another party has a claim on it, a claim that might derail the sale entirely. These kinds of claims are commonly known as title defects.

According to the Washington Post, a title defect, also known as a title cloud, is something that would keep a seller from transferring a clear title to the person who wants to buy the home. Title defects, no matter how small they may be, can interrupt a sale and keep a buyer from taking possession of a home. If the issue is not cleared up, the buyer may give up on the purchase and look elsewhere.

There are a number of title defects that commonly come up. Contractors who perform work on a home but are not paid may place a mechanic’s lien on the property. Sometimes a homeowner gets divorced and does not pay child support; a lien for the unpaid support is placed on the home as a result. The same thing can happen if a homeowner is late on paying taxes. Additionally, some properties become ensnared in bankruptcies.

Sometimes title defects may involve problems with paperwork. Homelight gives an example of a title that did not transfer from a previous owner. The issue was settled at the courthouse and the property was sold. Other issues, however, may delay a home sale for possibly years, such as heirs that may have a claim on a home. Sometimes a title search discovers another owner that was not contacted about the sale and thus has not given approval to sell the home.

People who are looking to buy a home in a Florida neighborhood need to know all the important details about the home before they make a purchase. Consulting with a real estate attorney on a title search may help you to uncover such issues before they become a real problem.