The Clear & Marketable Title Conundrum: What A Closing Attorney Can Do For You When Buying Residential or Commercial Property
Besides setting aside any fears that stem from closing on a real estate property such as terms of a contract, whether you are closing on a home or office building, or whether the real estate is residential or commercial, a closing attorney is your knight in shining armor in another battle altogether. This battle is whether or not you are acquiring real property that has clear title, sometimes referred to as clean title. Does the real property you are buying have marketable title? What does marketable title mean? What does clear title mean? All these questions and more are something a closing attorney may answer for you. In addition, a closing attorney can help you understand title insurance and what happens during a title examination.
The Concept of Title: Vehicles & Real Property Have a Lot in Common When It Comes to Title
Titles to Cars, Trucks & Things That Go
Understanding the concept of title in real estate transactions might be easily understood by considering the title of a vehicle. Probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “title” is title to a vehicle. Recall that piece of paper you received when purchasing your vehicle? I’m sure you do. Perhaps this is one of the easiest ways to understand the concept of title. Not too unlike title to a vehicle is the title to land. When purchasing a vehicle one of the first things a buyer checks is whether or not the vehicle has clear or clean title. This means that the car or truck being bought is owned outright by the seller. In addition, it also means that there are no liens on the vehicle. Someone to whom the seller may owe money for the vehicle may place a lien on the vehicle. Examples would be if the seller owes money from the purchase of the vehicle, or if he or she had repairs on the vehicle that were not paid in full, a lien may be placed on the vehicle. If a lien is placed on a vehicle, then it does not have clean title. So, what does this have to do with title to land?
Title in Real Estate
Title to land runs along the similar lines as title to vehicles. However, title in real estate can be a little more complex than title to vehicles. When you purchase real estate, whether residential or commercial, you acquire the title to the real property. You will receive the deed to the property. However, it is possible to purchase title that is defective or clouded. Similar to vehicles, you want clear and marketable title for any real estate that you purchase. You don’t want to purchase land that may have a lien on it, or may have a claim by another person, just as you wouldn’t want to purchase a vehicle on which someone has placed a lien or claims to own the vehicle.
Common Types of Liens
A common example of a lien in real estate is a mechanic’s lien. A mechanic’s lien may be placed on a property if a contractor has completed repairs that have not been paid in full. For instance, consider an addition on a home. If a homeowner does not pay a subcontractor for the cost of the new addition, then that subcontractor may put a lien on the house. If this lien is not satisfied prior to the sale of the house, then this can cloud the title. A closing attorney can help the buyer of a home make sure that there are no liens on the home they are purchasing. Liens affect the closing and title to the house. If there are outstanding bills for repairs or additions on a house, then there are likely mechanic’s liens placed on a home.
What A Closing Attorney Can Do For You in Real Estate
A closing attorney at Bret Jones, P.A. can explain the concept of clear and marketable title, and what title insurance entails. You are likely to have questions about what title insurances does, and whether it is necessary. Consider this: would you ever purchase a vehicle without inspecting it? Would you ever purchase a used vehicle without checking out the vehicle history? No, you probably wouldn’t. The same goes for real property. Whether you are purchasing a home, a vacant lot, a warehouse, or other type of real property, you need a closing attorney to help you seal the deal correctly. At Bret Jones, P.A. our attorneys and staff prides themselves in remaining professional yet relatable. We value client comprehension. We want all of our clients to be fully comprehend the process that we are undertaking on their behalf.
As with all licensed attorneys in the state of Florida, at the offices of Bret Jones, P.A. our attorneys and legal staff keep a close eye on the current case law, as well as both current and proposed legislation that affect our areas of practice. In our capacity as closing attorneys, we keep active and aware of any discussion in the real estate legal realm. One key resource in this field is the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar. For example, the Real Property Law Division of the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law section of the Florida Bar has an entire Title Issues and Standard’s Committee which in addition to updating Florida’s Uniform Title Standards, also “monitors case law and provides input on proposed legislation affecting title to real estate in Florida.” (Real Property, Title Issues & Standards, The Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, https://www.rpptl.org/DrawCommittees.aspx?GroupCommitteeTypeID=5&GroupCommitteeID=73, 2017). As noted by the Committee, use of the Title Standards is voluntary yet promoted. At Bret Jones P.A., we believe that you deserve the best, and our attorneys and legal staff go above and beyond to make sure that we are aware of the cutting edge practices in our field. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the closing process, including title, is one of the many ways that our closing attorneys educate our clients so that we steer clear of any clear or marketable title conundrums.