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Title Search 

A title search is a crucial step in the real estate transaction process that involves examining public records to determine the legal ownership rights to a property. Here's how a title search works and why it's important:

1. **Examination of Public Records**: A title search involves a thorough examination of various public records, including deeds, mortgages, liens, judgments, easements, and other legal documents related to the property. These records are typically maintained by the county or local government where the property is located.

2. **Verification of Ownership**: The primary objective of a title search is to verify the current and historical ownership of the property. By tracing the chain of title back through previous owners, the title examiner can determine whether there are any discrepancies, errors, or claims that could affect the validity of the current owner's title.

3. **Identification of Encumbrances**: In addition to verifying ownership, a title search also identifies any encumbrances or legal issues that may affect the property's title. This may include outstanding mortgages, liens, easements, property taxes, judgments, or other claims against the property that could impact the buyer's rights as the new owner.

4. **Resolution of Title Issues**: If the title search uncovers any issues or defects in the property's title, such as unreleased liens or conflicting ownership claims, the parties involved can work to resolve these issues before proceeding with the transaction. This may involve clearing title defects, obtaining releases or waivers, or purchasing title insurance to protect against future claims.

5. **Protection for Buyers and Lenders**: A thorough title search provides protection for both buyers and lenders by ensuring that the property's title is clear and free from any undisclosed liens or encumbrances. Title insurance policies are often issued based on the results of the title search to protect against losses resulting from title defects or claims that arise after the transaction is completed.

6. **Facilitation of Real Estate Transactions**: By confirming the validity of the property's title, a title search facilitates the smooth transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. It provides confidence to both parties that the transaction is legally sound and that the buyer will receive clear and marketable title to the property.

Overall, a title search is a critical due diligence step in the real estate transaction process that helps ensure the integrity of the property's title and protects the interests of all parties involved in the transaction. It provides peace of mind to buyers, lenders, and other stakeholders by confirming the ownership rights and legal status of the property.

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