6 Replies

Here is a question regarding TITLE SEARCHES and TITLE INSURANCE

I've been checking out alot of auctions on www.auctions.com

I am wondering, is it safe / smart to do a title search with an online website for 40-60 dollars, versus using a local title company ?

1) Will all the searches show tax liens, mortgage info, etc?
2) what about title insurance ? how is that handled ? how much should it be ?
3) What exactly is the difference between a title search and title insurance ?

4) Can you recommend a title website that you have personally used ?

I can only answer 3.  Title search is simply checking the title for things like unpaid liens, mortgages, other owners, other claims, etc.  The title insurance is basically buying a guarantee that the title company didn't miss anything or else they pay if your claim is disputed later.

you could go to the courthouse and do your own title search if you're just trying to save money.

if you want title insurance, i think you pretty much need to pay an attorney to do the title search per insurance company requirement.

I am wondering, is it safe / smart to do a title search with an online website for 40-60 dollars, versus using a local title company ?

What is the purpose of this title search?

Presuming you are going to use a title company to handle the transfer of the property why wouldn't you just use the title report they work up? If you were thinking of saving the cost of a title company to handle closing you are risking big dollars to save pennies. You will not get title insurance without a title company handling the transaction.

1.) Not all basic title searches will list liens, mortgages, encumbrances, etc. on a property. Some of these can only be found by going to the court house and pulling every record and document for a property. A certified title search is your best bet for catching everything.

2 & 3.) I recommend reading this short article. It explains what title insurance is, what it covers, and approximately how much it should cost. It also has links to a couple videos you might find useful. http://www.titlesearch.com/Blog/?p=1617

4.) www.titlesearch.com

If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me directly and I'd be happy to help. 

A title insurance policy is risk avoidance policy, that's why the title company does a title search and as or more importantly, an examination of the documents that are found in the search.  The exam helps the title insurance company identify possible defects in the title, decided on the requirements it will make to eliminate the defects to insure the transaction and what matters will be excepted from the coverage of the policy.

But a title policy also provides protection for loss caused by things that cannot be found in a title search.  Things like forged deeds or mortgage satisfactions, deeds signed by people who are not legally competent to convey, either because of age, i.e. a minor or mental incompetency which generally will not be shown in the public records.  Also, depending on the state where the property is located, protection against loss caused by mis-indexed instruments.  If they're mis-indexed, all the searching in the world won't find them.

Most buyers performing due diligence and researching property BEFORE putting up earnest money deposits typically need critical lien, mortgage and foreclosure information first. At the very least knowing what is owed on the property so that you can make a calculated offer that is within the parameters of the existing mortgage and the actual property's value. Using an online title search company will only expedite the process since most of these records today are recorded and indexed online (Title Plants) and easily accessed on the web, and usually same day. Once these records are viewed and you wish to move forward with the purchase, then a Title Policy would be the next step in insuring that there are no hidden issues or clouds on title that would impede conveyance.

Some helpful links can be found @


Title and Lien Info

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