Dealing with distressed seller.

8 Replies

What is the least expensive way to determine if there are any outstanding liens ect that would prevent a clear transfer 0f title? Like in the case where a child dosen't wat an inherited property or the owner is in jail.

Jim Poulette
R&S Opportunities

Get a contract and take it to a title agent. Have them open title to it (do a title search). If there are liens that won't allow you to close then you don't owe the title company anything. I would recommend that you become a repeat customer of the same title agent so that they can make some money on the ones that do close.

Originally posted by "Ryan Webber":
Get a contract and take it to a title agent. Have them open title to it (do a title search). If there are liens that won't allow you to close then you don't owe the title company anything. I would recommend that you become a repeat customer of the same title agent so that they can make some money on the ones that do close.

Thank you, will that apply everywhere? im MD. If there are liens would they tell you what it would take to clear the title? How much would what you describe normally cost if they open title?

Thanks,
Jim

Yes, they will tell you what needs to clear the title and the cost is $0. Now the idea is not you asking them if they can search the title for you to see if anything is wrong with it. The idea is that you need to close on this property and you want to get title insurance on it. You ARE closing the property with them, and part of the normal process of that closing is searching the title and providing title insurance.

Originally posted by "Ryan Webber":
Yes, they will tell you what needs to clear the title and the cost is $0. Now the idea is not you asking them if they can search the title for you to see if anything is wrong with it. The idea is that you need to close on this property and you want to get title insurance on it. You ARE closing the property with them, and part of the normal process of that closing is searching the title and providing title insurance.

I actually called several Title companys and asked if the do a title search and it has problems do I have to pay a fee and they all said yes. $150-$350 for Baltimore City,MD. So did I ask the wriong question? Should I ask for title insurance and what is the fee if they cannot provide title insurance.?

Well, it definitely could be different for different areas, but I would focus on building a relationship with an investor oriented title agent/company. Talk to some title agents and tell them that you are looking to build a relationship with someone that you can bring all your deals to. Then I would have a list of several questions that I would ask them and not just the particular one about if you have to pay them if they the title doesn't come back clear. The thing about that "fee" is that it would be totally discretionary. If you build a relationship with an agent then you probably wouldn't be paying any fees like that.

I would say that if I were a title agent and you called me with this as your headliner question then I would probably quote you a fee also.

Jim,

The least expensive way to check the title is do it yourself. You can get on your county recorder's website for free and search all activity regarding that title. If your county doesn't have a website, you may have to physically go to the courthouse and search the records physically. I often do this for properties that I'm buying if I'm suspicious before I spend the money to have a title company do their thing. Once I think the title is OK and the property is under contract, then it goes to the title company or the bank's attorney for the real title search.

Ryan gave you good advice. Relationships are key in this business. Could you get someone to give you a free title search if you give them a lot of business? Yes. However, the "lot of business" part may have to come first.

Good Luck,

Mike

TO: Mike & Ryan

Thank you both very much for the info. I would bet good money Baltimore City, Md is not online for title searches. It is all they can do to have the tax info online. Even regular title searches take a lot longer here and are more expensive. They don't even usually list the square foot info in the tax records. I will have to see which works best.