What is title work?
When a house or property is sold and contracts are signed, the next step is to have a “title search” of the county records performed by a trained professional. A title search will reveal who actually owns the property, make sure they obtained ownership properly and find out whether there are any liens, mortgages, judgments, easements or other matters a buyer will be interested in knowing. A title search will also show what the “legal description” of the property is. Real estate is not passed along or filed by street address, that’s for your mail. Real estate is only transferred according to a legal description, for example “Lot 4 in Block 8 of Georges 2nd Addition to the City of Decatur as per Plat number…”
Our search will also show whether the real estate taxes have been properly paid and posted for several years back to avoid property loss by tax sale.
Why do I need title work?
Real estate operates under a different system than say a car. With a car, if the person you are buying from has the car title with their name on it, and there are no liens stamped on the title then you are probably sure you are buying from the seller free and clear. But with real estate ownership is passed by documents called deeds. The deeds are filed at the County Recorder’s office. A title company searches the county records to make sure the person you are buying from actually owns it. Liens, mortgages, easements and other things that affect property ownership are also recorded with the County Recorder and those things must be considered as well when buying property. If you ever buy a property without title work, you are taking a huge risk. For example, someone else may actually own the property entirely, or two people may own it but only one says they do, or the taxes from two years ago were not paid, or there is an easement for the neighbors to park on your lot. You need to find out exactly what you are buying and from who.
What is escrow?
Escrow is the name for the services associated with a third party holding money or paperwork to facilitate a real estate transaction, or closing. Once all the documents have been signed and the parties approve, escrow is “released” and the funds and documents are disbursed to the parties. This ensures a more level playing ground between buyer and seller. Macon County Title is a insured escrow agent and real estate closing company.