Real estate transactions involve the most valuable asset for many of us – our homes – but it can also be an investment property. Either way, part of that transaction process involves transferring the title from one party to another. It is crucial that property sellers and buyers ensure that these matters are in order.
What could go wrong?
If that process is not done correctly, or the title is not a clean or clear one, it means the ownership is not valid or not legally recognized. Typical scenarios for title issues include:
- Purchase of a old home
- Purchase of property that has been in a family for several generations
- Property was transferred to a trust or entity that has rights to it
- Tax obligation is not up to date
- A creditor has a lien or levy against the property
- Someone has a previously unrecognized legal claim to ownership involving the property
Fraud could be an issue
There is the old tale of hucksters selling new immigrants the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, but within that legend is a lesson about a clear or clean title. Not everyone selling a property will be honest and may even knowingly not have the right to the property.
An experienced real estate attorney can cut through the subterfuge and misdirection of a false deed to ensure that the buyer gets they he or she is paying for. They can assist with title searches and help guide clients through the transaction. Part of this process is clearing the title. While Texas does not require an attorney to be involved in sale of a home, it is would seem unnecessarily reckless to not ensure the title and other parts of the process are legal and proper.