Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2022

two men holding a key and a miniature houseMany times, real estate transactions, in both the residential or commercial arena, encounter some form of a title issue that must be cleared up before the closing is scheduled. Frequently, questions arise when reviewing the condition of title to the property, such as, does the seller have the legal right to sell the property? Is the home’s title free and clear of title defects or clouds? Are there any title defects that exist, which could interfere with or prevent the transfer of title to the buyer? Most importantly, how can you as the buyer be sure that you as actually getting good and marketable title to the property you are buying?

Generally, unless a buyer agrees to accept title to a property subject to a title issue, any title issue that comes up in the title search must be addressed and resolved before the closing takes place. Therefore, if you are in the process of making a real estate purchase, it is best to contact Orlando real estate attorneys who can help with addressing any Florida title issues that may arise in connection with your purchase of the property.

Before contacting Orlando real estate lawyers, it is best to understand what type of title issues can slow down real estate deals. Keep reading to learn more!

Most Common Title Issues

Below are some of the most common title issues that may come up in a closing on real property:

False Impersonations/Fraudulent Deeds

The purported seller may use a similar or a common name or may try to impersonate the actual owner of the home to scam money out of thirsty buyers. In this circumstance, the actual seller is unaware that the property is being sold by a perpetrator of fraud who is impersonating the seller in the transaction. Many times, you will see this with a vacant land transaction where the seller is not locally available and is completely unaware that the property is being fraudulently sold to an unsuspecting buyer.  Surprisingly, this is not a myth and occurs more than you would think.

Family Members Appear

In some instances, a title search may reveal that other persons may have a legal interest in the property, such as an heir of a prior owner. In this circumstance, a long-lost family member may have some type of interest in the property that will need to be addressed by the property owner before the property is closed on. It is important to address any heirs who may have a potential interest in the property, because if left unaddressed, someone claiming to be a rightful heir may show up at your doorstep claiming to have a superior ownership interest in the property.

Ineffective Past Deeds

Ineffective deeds are typically the result of deeds signed by a person who does not have the authority to sign the deed. Examples would include, a deed signed by a minor, a deed signed by someone who does not have authority to bind an entity, a deed signed by someone who does not own the property, or a deed signed by someone who lies about his or her marital status. Florida homestead laws require a spouse to join in on the signing of any deed that conveys his or her primary residence. In this circumstance, if a spouse fails to join in on the deed for the conveyance of his or her homestead property, the deed is considered void and of no force and effect, which is why it is so important to ensure that all proper parties sign the deed.

Neighbor Encroachment Issues

Neighbor encroachments are locations on the property where any improvement on your neighbor’s property intrudes or overlaps onto your property, or vice versa. Not completing a survey on a property before you purchase it could later result in a boundary dispute between you and your neighbor.

Property Liens or Judgments

There are various types of liens that can be affixed to real estate. One of the most common and specific types of liens is known as a judgment lien, which could be a showstopper in a real estate transaction. This is an extremely common issue faced by buyers. In Florida, a judgment lien may be attached to any real estate owned by the debtor and may sometimes be attached to the debtor’s personal property as well. A judgment lien secures the unpaid amount of any money judgment that is acquired by the holder of a judgment, which is usually a creditor. In Florida, a creditor may attach a judgment lien to any non-homestead real estate, that is owned by the debtor, by recording a certified copy of the judgment in the official records of any county in which the debtor owns real estate.

Public Record Errors

Since public record information is input by humans, errors sometimes occur. The most common public record error is when a clerk enters a deed or a mortgage and its corresponding recording information into the grantor-grantee index and the clerk incorrectly spells one of the names on the recorded deed or the recorded mortgage. In this circumstance, a title examiner who is conducting a name search may end up missing this recorded deed or mortgage, which could result in delays or issues with the closing.

This list is just a few of the many problems that can arise during title transfers. For this reason, you need a residential or commercial real estate closing attorney to help with these extensive title investigations and to ensure you have no problems with the title transfer.

If you need help with residential real estate closing in Orlando, then contact Nishad Khan P.L. today!