How Much Does a Title Search Cost?
A title search is the process of searching a home’s title to determine whether or not there are any discrepancies. A title search can provide answers to questions such as the restrictions on the property, the allowances, any types of liens and if the seller potentially has a saleable interest in the property. A title search is a relatively simple procedure and is generally done at professional title companies.
How much is it?
- On average, a title search is going to cost anywhere from $100 to as much as $500 for the search.
- Higher cost of living states may charge a bit more. For example, a forum thread on the website Trulia.com stated that you should be prepared to pay around $300 to $500 for a home located in New York.
- According to a forum thread on the website PropertyMaps.com, a user claimed that you should be prepared to pay anywhere from $100 to $250. He also noted, however, that it is definitely worth every single penny.
- Self-service companies such as TitleSearch.com offer packages that can cost anywhere from $99.95 to $159.95.
What is going to be included?
- During a title search, the company will do a variety of things. This will include matching the signatures on the deed of the home to the current owner, gathering the legal description of the property, and helping to distinguish if there are any liens on the property. Once the search has been completed, you will receive a report showing what they have found.
- Other items that can be found on the search include mortgage information, equity loans, tax payments, bankruptcies, judgements, property numbers and agreements. TitleSearch.com has a good list on what most title companies search for.
What are the extra costs?
- If the title search is being done on a home that is being purchased, don’t forget to factor in the overall closing costs. Experts will tell you to budget anywhere from 1% to 2% of the home’s selling price.
- Title searches don’t always mean that the title is going to be free and clear. Remember that these title companies are ran by human beings like you and I. To protect yourself from a financial disaster in the long run, it is highly recommended that you purchase title insurance. SEE: “How much does title insurance cost?“
Tips to know:
- A title search should always be done before selling or buying a property. This is to ensure that there are no liens or potential problems with the property. Failing to search the title can lead to massive financial consequences in the future.
- Some problems that are found in the title search may be minor and can be easily fixed by the person performing the search. There may be some issues that are taken care of before you are even told about them. Other problems, however, may take both time and money to fix. This is the reason that title insurance is important.
- A lien on the property must be taken care of by the person who legally owns the property. If the title of a home is transferred to your name and there is a lien on the property, you will be held responsible for the amount that is owed.
How can I save money?
- Try to steer clear of the company that your real estate agent is trying to recommend. What you have to understand that is that most real estate agents are going to get a kickback from the refferal. With that being said, try your best to compare title insurance companies outside of the realtor’s recommendation to find one that is reasonably priced.
- You can do a title search on your own through your own resources. While you should still use a professional, it does not hurt to check public records. Some counties offer this information for free while others may charge. Websites such as Intelius.com can help look up property records for a low fee.
- Test your luck with the County Clerk’s office. Depending on the technology in the town, you may be able to do a title search for free. Simply search for something along the lines of “<your city> property records.”