A title search is an important document you will review when buying or selling a home. As a seller, your real estate agent will order a title search when listing your property, and unless there is something that requires clarification on the document, you may not encounter it at all. As a buyer your real estate agent will request the title search from the selling agent, and in most cases the review and approval of the title search will become a condition of the contract. This is important as certain charges on title can have negative implications for buyers if not dealt with before the property changes hands.
So what is a title search?
A title search is a land search of a property that details information such as the legal owners, the legal descriptions of the property, and any charges registered on title with the Land Title Survey Authority. A charge is defined as a legal interest or encumbrance which is either financial or non-financial in nature. Many charges on title may be inter alia, meaning they apply to the entire area or subdivision and not just the subject property. Because many charges ‘run with the land’ or are passed on to the new owners if not cleared, it’s important to be aware of the charges on title and any implications they may have.
What are the different charges?
The most common charges found on title include mortgage charges, covenants, easements, right of ways, judgements, leases, and claims of builder’s leans. Mortgage charges are typically cleared when a property sells, however judgements or builder’s leans are financial charges that should always be dealt with before subjects are removed on a property. It is important for a buyer to be aware of any easement charges that could affect the use of the land, and any covenants or rights of way that affect the parcel of property. Your real estate agent will be to request details on all charges, and it’s always advised to seek independent legal advice if unsure of anything.
Why is a title search important?
As a buyer, having a clear understanding of the nature of the property you are about to buy is important. Anything effecting the land should be considered before moving ahead with a purchase. For example, if you’ve written an offer on a property with a huge back yard, only to find out a third of the yard is actually an easement or right of way, this could affect what you are actually able to do with the space. Some properties will have a building scheme which is a restrictive covenant charge which dictates the look and feel of the neighbourhood and may limit what you can do with the property, functionally and aesthetically.
When working with Lance Lundy have peace of mind that all steps are in place to ensure title searches are conducted, and charges are investigated so buyers know exactly what it is they are purchasing. For more information on obtaining a title search, or buying or selling in Whistler, contact Lance today.