Before purchasing any piece of real estate, you need to carry out a thorough title check. It applies to both residential and commercial property.
The majority of titles are “clean.” In other words, they do not have problems, and you can move ahead with confidence. Some, however, have “clouds” that can rain on your plans to buy a property. Thankfully it is often simple to blow the clouds away through a “quiet title action.”
What sort of issues can a quiet title action clear up?
Here are a few of the things a quiet title action can help you solve:
- Confusion over the boundary line: To ensure you get your relationship with your neighbors off to a good start, you need to be clear about what is your property and what is theirs. If fences replaced old walls, or if the boundaries were drawn long ago, this might not be clear.
- Inheritance disputes: One person may try to sell a piece of real estate despite there being an ongoing dispute over who a deceased person left it to. Be wary if the seller dies mid-sale, as you may be unable to complete the purchase without renegotiating with several beneficiaries.
- A lien on the property: Banks can put a lien on a property to secure a debt. Builders and others who did work on a property can also do so if the owner did not pay them. If the owner says that they cleared the debt, but the lien is still showing, a quiet title action can clarify things.
You can file a quiet title action before you agree to buy a property. Alternatively, you could ask the seller to do so. The idea is to clarify the title situation of the property and ensure that if you buy it, you can do so without worrying about someone appearing out of the woodwork to claim it is theirs.