If a title search is not performed, then there is no way of knowing that the person selling you the house is the actual owner of the house. They could be a neighbor who knows that the actual owners go out of town for several months a time. They could have an ex-spouse, sibling, or other person on the title who does not want to sell the property. If you purchase a house from someone who is not the owner, or is just a partial owner, then you DO NOT own the house.
Contractor’s Lien Claim
If the person you buy the house from has had work done on the property and did not pay the contractor, or the contractor did not pay the sub-contractors, sub-sub-contractors or materials men, then there will be a lien, or debt, placed on the property. If you do not perform a proper title search, then this debt will become yours when you purchase the property, and the lien placed could potentially be more than the value of the property.
An easement occurs when a piece of the property extends onto another person’s land. If this easement is done without permission of the land owner, then the new owner of the property could be forced to deconstruct the portion of the structure that is located on that property, costing them time and money.
Zoning and Building Restrictions
These can also be detrimental to a purchaser who does not perform a title search. What if you purchase a property to start a business only to find out that it can only be used for residential purposes? You are out of luck. What if the building that you purchased is not up to code or building regulations? It is now your responsibility to fix it, once again costing you time and money.
The best way to prevent any of these situations from happening is to hire an experienced real estate attorney to ensure that a proper title search is performed and that you receive title insurance on the property.