Christopher Dixon, Member
The cost of a title search depends on the source you use. Most states require a title search to legally purchase a property. To most buyers this is merely a formality and is most often left to an attorney used during the purchase. Titles can be confusing and sometimes extra paperwork is involved. The reality is that the cost depends on the purpose of your search. The smartest way to do this search is to use an authority like an attorney or title company if this is a significant purpose. For less important informational needs, you can use an online service like HomeInfoMax or something like that. These basic informational services can save you big. So no, you don't have to pay $100 - $200 for a title search if you just want basic information and a serious transaction is NOT on the line. The bottom line is you need to use good judgment when deciding how deep to dig and WHY. Also remember that some states require an attorney for real estate transactions. Sometimes being cheap just won't work.
The searcher must consider several factors about the information the most important of which is the timeliness of the source. If you get a source that is out of date, the title information could be wrong. This is why a comprehensive source is best. For the purchaser, this could be extremely important. For the purchaser in a real estate deal this is crucial. A bad title could not only invalidate your transaction, it could leave you in a terrible financial situation where you have paid for something you could never possess. Skimping on a title search when you are the purchaser is NEVER in your favor. For a purchaser YOU SHOULD SPEND THE EXTRA MONEY. It will be well worth the extra cash. Online tools are great for figuring out who owns a property (possibly past or present) but timely updated information is required for a legal purchase. Never forget this.
Ross Garner, WalletHub Community Manager
A title search on its own generally will cost you somewhere between $100 and $250, though that number varies by location, company and whether the title search cost is baked into a package deal.
There are several ways you can try to lower the cost of a title search; the most obvious being a simple comparison among title professionals such as title companies, mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys and real estate agents in your area.A lesser known strategy is to contact the company that currently holds the title insurance policy on the home in question; since they still have the old title search on file, they will often offer you a lower price or they might give you a better title insurance policy at the same price.
As you probably already know, most mortgage lenders will require a new title search on any property you hope to buy.A properly conducted title search will establish an unbroken chain of ownership going back 40 to 60 years, depending on your local requirements.This chain is important because any improper transfer of property will void the entire line of ownership, and the title could revert back to its last legal owner.A title search will also show any outstanding debts on the property including mortgages and liens and any back property taxes owed by previous residents.Knowing these details in advance is important because if you end up buying a home with old debts, you become responsible for paying them.
Most companies that offer title searches also offer title insurance, which is a product that can protect you in case their search was incomplete.Your lender will also likely require you to take out a title insurance policy before they will offer you any financing.In most cases, a basic title insurance policy will protect only your lender in case there is an ownership dispute in the future; if you lost the home in a dispute, the typical title insurance policy would pay off your mortgage but offer you no compensation.Many title companies will offer owner title insurance policies that protect not only a lender, but the homeowner too, though these policies are more expensive than a basic plan.
Who pays for a title search is also not necessarily set in stone.The buyer of a home traditionally pays for a search, but if your housing market is in particularly bad shape, you might be able to convince the home owner to pay up for a search themself.Most will be reluctant to do so, but depending on your circumstances, you just might be able to save a few hundred dollars with good negotiation.After all, your lender will only require that a new title search be conducted on property, and they will rarely be adamant about who must conduct it.
Anthony Agustin, Member
While most preliminary title searches will typically run anywhere from $250 to $800 depending on whether or not it's a residential or commercial property. The cost will also depend on the county the property is locatedin as well as the complexity of the search and results. (Commercial title searches usually run more than residential title searches).
An online title searchwill run significantly cheaper than a traditiona title search (usually $100 to $200) as the majority of these records are indexed online in title plants (and updated by the county recorder's office for that particular County on a daily basis),which are easily accessible and can expedite a chain of title search or preliminary title search to reveal any potential encumbrances, liens or judgments levied against the property and/or the owner.
Not to mention that our firm found using a local title company takes anywhere from 3 to 7 business days to process a preliminary title report. We used an online tite search service (US Title Records) and found we were able to retrieve the searches usually within hours. More than likely because most of the records and data are indexed online nowadays.
The answer above(Anthony A.) is correct in that most traditional, local title companies seem to charge a lot more than the online title search companies we have found.
We found a couple of Title search companies (I.E. US Title Records) that we use on an ongoing basis that can deliver preliminary title search reports usually within a couple of hours. The price ranges anywhere from $19 for a basic current owner and mortgage search to $250 for a complete Preliminary title search report. Very accurate as well.
Paddy Sullivan, WalletHub Credit Card Advisor
A title search costs $75 to $200, in most cases. Those are the typical title company fees, at least. The cost depends on where you are, the value of the property and the company you pick, among other things. Be careful, though. Companies may try to bundle title search fees with charges for other services. That can make it hard to figure out what you’re paying for.
At the end of the day, though, you should be able to cover the cost of several title searches with a single credit card sign-up bonus. For example, the Capital One Venture and Barclaycard Arrival Plus cards give you $400+ in travel for spending $3,000 within a few months of opening an account. Paying the title company’s fee with a credit card, if possible, could help you qualify for the bonus. Or you could just use the money you would have spent on moving-related travel expenses to pay the title search cost. Either way, you’re coming out on top.
Sam Berkley, Member
Just about $200, but I wouldn't get started without an attorney.
How to you hire an attorney for $200?? What state do you live in??
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