How To Do a Title Search in Pennsylvania

July 21, 2020

How To Do a Title Search in Pennsylvania

Real estate transactions can be complicated. However, one question many in the market for a new home ask real estate attorneys is: “How do I do a title search in PA?” 

To complete a title search in Pennsylvania, you can hire someone to complete the search, visit the courthouse of the county where the property is located, or visit the county assessor. Know that hiring someone to complete a title search to look for liens or defects can be costly, but the other options are free to do and are public record.

Why are title searches important in Pennsylvania? The Scranton real estate attorneys of Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano have the answers.

What is a title search?

A property title is a simple way to say this is the individual(s) who owns the property in question. A title search is a search of multiple accounts and sources connected to the property (such as deeds, land records, tax liens, divorce proceedings, bankruptcy records, etc.) which is completed once an offer has been accepted to purchase the property.

The hope for both buyer and seller is that the property title search comes back clean from any financial holdings. 

Though the process usually occurs when an offer has been accepted, a property title search can happen at any time, by anyone.

Why are title searches important?

As mentioned above, the goal is for the property title search to come back clean of any financial holdings. However, there are other reasons a title search is important to both buyer and seller during the transaction process.

For the potential buyer, the property title search is important because it tells the buyer who is the current owner of the property, ensures that any liens, loans, and judgments are disclosed and handled by the seller before the closing. Should these financial deficiencies not be known before the close of escrow, the buyer can be in an expensive mess later on.

However, the title search is also important to the seller, too. To be able to put the home on the market, the seller must have a marketable title which means that there are no defects that could spark a lawsuit later on. Such defects may include that someone thinks they have the title of the property, or there is a deed out there that you were unaware of.

In addition, the title search also lets the buyer know if the title company can insure the transaction, which protects both seller and lender if liens are discovered after the closing has occurred.

While you can technically complete a title search on your own, it’s almost never recommended as you have to wade through many documents to ensure that all potential issues have been accounted for. It’s always best to work with a real estate attorney who can guide you through the Pennsylvania title search process to make sure the home you buy is free of liens, back taxes, or any other financial hold.

Title Search in Pennsylvania: Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano

The Scranton real estate attorneys of Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano know how important completing a thorough title search is prior to a home sale being completed. If you are in need of real estate advice, you need the Scranton real estate attorneys with experience–you need Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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