Signature Intl Premier Propert
Sally Masters, P.A. , Signature Intl Premier PropertPhone: (239) 253-1579
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Why I Need a Title Search in Florida When Buying a House

by Sally Masters, P.A. 02/02/2020

Image by Lori Moro from Pixabay

Buying a house is one of the biggest investments you will make in your life. Of course, you want to protect that investment. Your lender will probably require you to pay for a title search because it does not want to lend money on a property that might not show correct ownership, that might have taxes due, liens on it or that might have too many restrictions. Even if you pay cash for a property, you should have a reputable title company do a title search or you could end up being stuck with someone else’s financial problem.

What Is a Title Search?

A title search company or an attorney looks at the public records for the piece of property in question. The company examines the chain of title from the most current title to a title sometime in the past — often going back 60 to 100 years. If the title is not clean, the real estate transaction cannot continue. A title search tells you several things, including:

  • The vested owner of the property;

  • If the property has any outstanding tax obligations;

  • If anyone filed any liens on the property;

  • Easements on the property;

  • If the court filed any judgments against the property; and

  • If the property is collateral for any loans.

  • If the vested owner is not the same person selling you the property or someone authorized to sell the property, such as the executor of an estate, then the person selling you the property must fix the defect on the title. If the person cannot straighten out the issue, they might have to file a quiet title action in court. This could happen for several reasons, including errors on titles throughout the years.

    If the property has any taxes due, liens, judgments against it or outstanding loans, those items are paid out of the profits of the sale. If the home does not have enough equity to pay all outstanding debts, then the owner of the house must either take the house of the market — you would lose that house — or bring the difference to closing.

    Title Insurance

    In addition to the title search, a lender will almost always require you to pay for a title insurance policy. This policy protects only the lender. If you want to further protect your investment, you should purchase your own title insurance. The insurance policies protect the owner of the policy from any mistakes that the title searcher makes, such as an error in a deed or a missed lien on the property. While title insurance is not required, it is highly recommended to protect your investment.

    About the Author

    Sally Masters, P.A.

    Trustworthy, reliable, hardworking---a committed and dedicated Realtor who has earned the respect and admiration of her peers and the many clients who have called on her to consummate an important Real Estate transaction.

    For almost two decades, Sally Masters has been successfully listing and selling homes throughout Naples and its surrounding areas. Today, she is recognized as one of Southwest Florida’s most outstanding marketing, negotiating and sales professionals. In 2018, this native of London, England joined the Signature International Premier Properties team, bringing her vast knowledge and insight of the residential, waterfront, golf course and estate home marketplace to one of Florida’s fastest growing Real Estate Companies.

    Sally has few equals in regards to her list of industry-wide certifications and designations. They include being a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and an Institute Luxury Home Market member. Sally has earned a CIPS Designation (Certified International Property Specialist), the RSPS Certification (Resort and Second Home Property Specialist) the SRES Designation (Senior Real Estate Specialist) and the MRP Certification (Military Relocation Professional)

    In addition, she has been the recipient of the prestigious Ad Miller Award, recognizing an individual who has contributed to the enhancement and preservation of private property rights. In August, 2018, Sally was featured in Forbes Magazine as a Real Estate Market leader for Southwest Florida.

    Sally Masters’ network of clients stretches far and wide- both beyond the United States and throughout Canada and Europe. For years, she has successfully worked with the many international buyers and sellers who invest and call home to Naples and its surrounding environs.

    Going above and beyond for her many clients and her commitment to keep her buyers and sellers well informed throughout the entire transaction process is what truly defines Sally’s highly acclaimed work ethic. She constantly receives referrals and new business from her many satisfied clients who enlisted her as their broker of choice and remain in close contact.

    Sally continues to give to the community she has called home for many years. She is the active and proud founder of the www., a charitable organization that sends packages to our troops stationed overseas.