Property Title Search Maryland

When would you get a property title search?

Property Title Search Maryland

Property title searches are most commonly performed during the closing process, after a buyer has made an offer on a house but before ownership has formally transferred from seller to buyer. To get a better understanding of property title search in Maryland, contact Capitol Title Group, we have delivered excellent customer service and professional property searches over the years.

There are other circumstances that would warrant a property title search outside of the closing period; for instance, with investment properties. If you’re an investor and a seller is offering you a property at a steep discount because they’re in a financial hardship, you should probably pay a title company to do a quick search to make sure there aren’t any liens or encumbrances on the title. 

What sources are used in a property title search?

A property title search looks at:

  • Deeds
  • County land records
  • Federal and state tax liens
  • Divorce cases
  • Child support cases
  • Bankruptcy records
  • Financial judgments

What happens if issues surface during the title search?

A property title search in Maryland may uncover one or more problems with the title. Here are some common title issues, along with corresponding strategies to resolve them:

  1. Break in the chain of title – This issue can appear when there is a missing deed in the chain. It can be resolved by obtaining the deeds of the missing link.
  2. Improper or missing legal description on the deed – Depending on the nature of the error, this typically requires getting a corrected deed from the same parties to fix the error.
  3. Potential missing interests – When the title chain includes a transfer via an estate, it’s essential to make sure any heirs have properly relinquished their interests in the property. 
  4. Open security deeds – The title search may uncover an open security deed from the current or prior owner that was never released. 
  5. Liens – A lien is a legal right or claim on a property that is commonly used as collateral to fulfill a debt. A title search will often identify potential liens on a property. These will require extra research to learn if the lien has expired, if it is possibly not actually for a party in the chain of title or if it is a valid lien that needs to be paid.
  6. Unpaid property taxes – Any outstanding property or “ad valorem” taxes, which are based on the assessed value of the home, will need to be paid before transferring the title to the new owner.

If one of these issues or another is found, homebuyers generally have three options, depending on what’s allowed in their purchase contract

  1. Ask the seller to resolve the issue before closing.
  2. Ask the seller to compensate the buyer for the cost to fix the issue.
  3. Walk away from the deal and receive a refund of their deposit.

Navigating the steps for a successful property purchase can be a difficult task. Capitol Title Group has many resources for buyers and sellers so that they can complete a transaction successfully.