Abstract of Title in Real Estate:
An abstract of title is a typed or written history of all the recorded documents affecting the transfer of ownership and all legal proceedings related to a specific piece of real estate. It is also sometimes referred to as an Abstract of Title. These documents are created when a title company, title searcher, abstractor or attorney researches all the recorded records related to a property and prepare a written history of the transfer of ownership of it. Often it is typed.
What is an Abstract of Title useful for?
When purchasing real estate every buyer is concerned with liens or other problems with the title to the property you don’t know about. If you’re going to buy a home with liens on it you at least want to know how much they are and to whom they are owed. In addition to liens, you will also want to know the exact size and shape of the property you are buying. That is why in addition to an Abstract of Title you also want a Survey of the Property. A professional title examiner, often an attorney or a title insurance company can review the Abstract of Title and the Survey and give you an opinion as to the title to the real estate and in some case will offer to issue an insurance commitment of insurance or policy ensuring title to the property for the value of the property.
What Kind of Stuff Could Be Found
The Abstract of Title can be a thick packet and numerous pages. Often there are local standards as to the number of years of the history of the property should be followed in the abstract. Usually, it is for nearly 100 years, but can be more. Typical issues that arise and cause concern to examiners of Abstracts of Title are:
- Liens: Mechanic and repair liens, or liens for monies borrowed against the property, second mortgage, etc.
- Tax liens: If property taxes are in arrears, there could be tax liens on the property. They take precedence over other liens and you can lose the property if they’re not paid.
- HOA liens: If you don’t pay your HOA dues they can put a lien against the property.
- HOA restrictions and covenants: You need to know what you can and cannot do with or on your property, so these are important rules to read, as you’re bound by them.
- Surveys and notes: If there are encroachments on your property, they will show up in surveyor notes. An example would be the neighbor building a new fence a foot into your property line.
- Easements: There are often easements for utilities. Often worded as a certain number of feet along a property line is reserved for installation and repair of sewer, water lines, etc. You don’t want to build a deck over this space, as the easement allows the utility to tear it up to do their work.
As you can see, an abstract of title is an important document to understand and seek professional advice to examine. At my office, we are very familiar with reviewing and analyzing Abstracts of Title and Surveys. If you have more questions, please call us.
What is owner’s title insurance?
Owner’s title insurance provides protection to the homeowner if someone sues and says they have a claim against the home from before the homeowner purchased it.
When you purchase your home, you receive a document most often called a deed, which shows the seller transferred their legal ownership, or “title” to their home, to you. Title insurance can protect you if someone later sues and says they have a claim against the home from before you purchased it. Common claims come from a previous owner’s failure to pay taxes or from contractors who say they were not paid for work done on the home before you purchased it.
Most lenders require you to purchase a lenders policy, which protects the amount they lend. You may want to buy an owner’s title insurance policy, which can help protect your financial investment in the home.
You can usually shop for a title insurance provider separately from your mortgage. If you shop for title insurance, you may be able to save money. If you choose to buy owner’s title insurance, the total cost will usually be lower if you use the same provider for both the lender’s policy and the owner’s policy, compared to buying them separately.
Depending on the state where you are buying your home, your title insurance company may give you an itemized list of fees at closing, which may be different than what is shown on your loan estimate or closing disclosure.
BUFFALO NEW YORK SHORT SALES
A short sale occurs when the closing proceeds from a real estate transaction are insufficient to pay off the liens and obligations required to be paid at the time of sale. The proceeds fall short, in other words, of the debts secured by liens against the property, and the owner cannot afford to repay the liens’ full. In such circumstances your attorney will need to discuss and negotiate with the lien holder(s) to see if they will take a lesser amount in satisfaction of the lien. If they agree then title can close. Short sale agreements do not necessarily release borrowers from their obligations to repay any shortfalls on the loans, unless specifically agreed to between the parties. Sometimes the amount of debt forgiven can be taxed to you as income. A short sale closing goes beyond a normal closing. It’s important to have an attorney experienced in these transactions. If you would like to discuss anything in this post in more detail, please give us a call any time.
REAL ESTATE LEGAL FEES:
Legal fees that we quote for your transaction are based on anticipation of a standard real estate closing. When unanticipated services are required such as involved negotiations, drafting of documents such as early or post-occupancy agreements, clarification or resolution of complicated title issues, or post-closing litigation, additional fees are charged. Since these events are not common, we do reserve the right to charge an additional fee for such services which will be discussed with you in advance. Add-ons to our standard fee include:
• Document preparation on sale files
• Preparation of early occupancy or post-closing agreements
• Preparation of contract
• Federal Express overnight mailing fees
• Deed transfer (recording fees are extra)
• Power of Attorney (recording fees are extra)
• Cancelled transaction
• Survey and abstract of title re-date fees (if you are a seller)
• Mobile Notary Services
If you are purchasing a property, we anticipate that our office will be obtaining the title insurance from your lender. We may also represent your lender in the closing. The work performed by our office for each of these services would result in an additional fee to our office.
RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE
I represent purchasers and sellers of residential or commercial real estate. Typically my involvement starts with the negotiation and preparation of a contract for the transaction involving real property. It may be necessary for me to review and approve or modify a contract prepared by another attorney, realtor or broker on behalf of a client. I will coordinate with you our client, the attorney for the other party, the lenders, and any other parties involved in the process. Everything we do is working towards an eventual closing. Our goal is always to be on top of the status of the closing as efficiently as possible while carefully monitoring and protecting our clients’ interests throughout the process.
If you need assistance relative to a real estate matter and would like to have a free consultation, please contact us at 716-491-1670, or e-mail Anne C. Dimatteo, Esq.