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What are common title problems when buying a home?

Learn more about title problems you could run into before and after buying a new home. Get the details on what to expect if you encounter a problem.

Before someone buys a home in Delaware, he or she has to do some background research to ensure the home is a good buy. Part of that research is looking into the title, which is the deed that spells out the details of ownership on a piece of property. There are a few different issues that may come up with the title that can stop the purchase. In some cases, issues do not appear until after the sale, which can pose problems for a new owner.

Types of title issues before purchase

According to Than Merrill, one of the more complex title issues is when there is a problem in the chain of title. The chain of title lists everyone who has ever owned a piece of property. If even one of those people made illegal claims on the land, it could affect everyone else down the line. This can get very complicated. Issues such as mental incompetency or not being able to legally own the land are just examples of what could cause an illegal chain of title.

There are also boundary issues that could take time to resolve. Easements are when someone else has the right to access part of a property. This often ties to the deed and is difficult to remove. Some buyers may not like this and want it cleared from the title. Encroachments are bit more complicated and based in issues with property lines. Someone else may claim part of the property as theirs.

Further problems include liens, which are claims someone else has to the land due to the property owner owing a debt, and clerical errors. Liens are easy to clear if the property owner pays the debt. Clerical errors may be more difficult. They could include filing errors or incomplete paperwork that will require research to fix.

Type of title issues after purchase

First American explains that sometimes title issues may pop up after a person buys a property. One such issue is if the title turns out to be a forgery. This is something that a buyer may not know about until years after the closing on the property. If a forgery comes to light, though, it cannot stay as is. It requires fixing, which could lead to the loss of the property.

Another issue is a found will or other estate issues that come up after the purchase. If someone contests an estate associated with the property or finds a will that includes the property, this could spell trouble for the current owner.

When purchasing property, you have to do your due diligence to ensure the title is completely clear. Having someone working on your behalf, such as the Law Offices of Bonnie M. Benson, P.A., can make it much easier to ensure you title is clear and that if problems do come up in the future, you can protect your interests.