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Common title defects to be aware of when purchasing a home

Posted on March 15, 2019

Buying a home is a very important time in many people’s lives in Missouri. It is a major purchase and a lot of thought needs to go into the decision. People may look at many, many homes prior to deciding the best one to purchase. There are many different aspects that people are looking for within their budget and want to make sure they buy one that is the right fit for them. So, once they do find the home they want to buy they will go through the real estate negotiation process and hopefully reach an agreement to purchase the home.

However, after the purchase price is agreed to and the purchase agreement is signed, people still need to obtain title to the home before it becomes their home. In order to do this the people transferring the title are the only ones that can have an interest in it. If others have an interest in the title it is known as having a defect and that must be cured before it can be transferred. This can be very devastating for people who have just found the home they want to purchase.

There are many different defects, but some are more common than others. Some of the more common title defects are errors made in the public record of the title; liens on the property for unpaid bills that may not be known; heirs who may have unknowingly inherited the property; unknown easements on the property can affect title; boundary disputes; illegal former ownership such as a minor owning it and other defects can arise. Many of these defects can be cured, but it can cost extra time and money to do so.

Buying a home is much more complicated than buying many other things in Missouri. Securing approval from the bank for a mortgage, setting up an escrow account, conducting an inspection and many other aspects create many difficulties. However, even after all those aspects are complete, the final step of transferring title can create more problems if there are defects. Experienced attorneys understand all the defects that can arise and may be able to guide one through the process.