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How Long Does a Title Search Take in Florida?

May 27, 2024

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Title searches are one of the main requirements that need to be fulfilled before closing. As a potential buyer, you need the reassurance that you won't be saddled with a faulty title and the legal conflict that comes with it. As the seller, agreeing to a title search shows your good will, not to mention that some title errors may go unnoticed for years, regardless of your best effort to convey transparency during the transaction. Title searches serve to minimize those risks, ultimately creating the best possible environment for all the relevant parties.

How Do Title Searches Work?

In a property title search, an attorney or a title and escrow company reviews the documents and records attached to the property before the title transfer. The title search will verify the current owner's identity, but it is also done to prevent issues for the new owner later on.

A Person Holding a Pen on a DeskIn Florida, a title search can be completed in a few days and usually no longer than two weeks, depending on how many times the property has changed owners. Extensions are rare since title companies have the technical means to provide a quick examination. Also, the agents are trained to do a meticulous evaluation without being slowed down by unclear terms.

To be clear, buyers can start these searches on their own because property titles are on public record in the county's jurisdiction. While this approach can show you the title's liens and encumbrances, it doesn't cover all the bases. Hidden claims and heirs are not unheard of, for one, and a trained eye will be faster when catching inaccuracies or errors in the data.

More importantly, title searches are mandatory to obtain title insurance, and lenders also have it as a requirement to grant a mortgage loan. It protects the lender's investment since problems over ownership could easily result in the loss of the loaned amount. That's why most people know to leave the task in the hands of a professional.

What To Do About an Unclear Title?

You're working with an unclear title if the title search reveals any of these issues:

  • Flaws or errors in documentation, like misspellings or missing characters/digits.

  • Incorrect signatures, identity theft, and other instances of fraud.

  • Ownership claims from other parties besides the seller, like previous owners or hidden heirs.

  • Unpaid debt and the resulting liens from lenders, tax collectors, and other organizations.

  • Other encumbrances against the property, like judgments for building code violations.

As we explained earlier, the title search needs to be completed before you can move on with the transaction, so sudden issues on the title are likely to affect your timeline. Clients value the service of a title company because it takes less time to review the title, find problems, and start working toward a solution.

Typos and other errors can be corrected fairly quickly after contacting the parties responsible for drafting the property title. Liens may take a bit more time since they could range from contractor fees to property taxes that have been unaddressed for years.

Two People Looking At Each OtherGenerally, the seller deals with these issues before the day of the closing, making the necessary payments to the buyer or the original recipients. Conflicting ownership claims may also need the continued assistance of an attorney during the negotiations.

In this article by Bankrate, you will find a list of common problems that arise after a title search and the most effective ways to deal with them. Of course, not all cases are the same, and the nature of a claim may determine the best course of action. This is one of the reasons why the support of an escrow agent is so important. Their knowledge of the local real estate market comes in handy during these cases, and they can help you contact whoever you need to modify the title, transfer a specific amount, draft a new deed, etc.

Getting Ready To Buy a New House in Florida?

Make sure that the value of the property matches the number on the price tag. You can ensure a thorough result in your title search to avoid a headache in the future. For over 24 years, the specialists at Key Title & Escrow have conducted comprehensive title search services to discover errors and outstanding claims. We also understand the importance of doing due diligence so we will check that all mortgage and tax payments have been completed.

No one wants to lose their money for reasons outside of their control, which is why Key Title & Escrow assists buyers, sellers, and lenders while providing the most satisfying outcome with no losses in between.

Get the best title company to ensure that nothing slips under the radar during the title search. Key Title & Escrow offers the best service and the latest technology to review all the paperwork quickly and effectively. Our specialists can also help you with any questions you may have, so if you're unsure about any part of the escrow process, feel free to contact us. You can call (305) 235-4571 or toll-free at (800) 547-0006 to learn more about our services. The contact form on this page is also available if you want to ask for more information.
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