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  • Writer's pictureZeno Lancaster

Title Issues in North Carolina Real Estate: What You Need to Know

Buying or selling a property in North Carolina can be an exciting yet complex process. As a North Carolina real estate closing attorney, I've witnessed firsthand the importance of understanding title issues in real estate transactions. The title of a property is essentially a legal document that proves ownership, and any issues with it can lead to complications during the closing process. In this blog post, we'll explore the key aspects of title issues in North Carolina real estate and what you need to be aware of.

Understanding the Basics

Before delving into the specific issues, it's crucial to grasp the basics of real estate titles. A title is a record of ownership that includes details such as property boundaries, names of previous owners, outstanding liens, and any restrictions on use. A clear title is essential for a smooth real estate transaction.

Common Title Issues

  • Liens and Encumbrances: Liens can be a significant hurdle in a real estate transaction. These are legal claims on the property, often due to unpaid debts. Common examples include mortgages, unpaid taxes, or contractor liens. Resolving these issues is crucial before the property can change hands.

  • Boundary Disputes: Property boundaries can sometimes be a source of conflict between neighbors. A title search should reveal any disputes, and it's essential to address and resolve these matters before proceeding with the transaction.

  • Errors in Public Records: Mistakes can happen, even in official records. Clerical errors, inaccurate surveys, or missing documents can all lead to title discrepancies. A meticulous review of public records can help identify and rectify these issues.

  • Missing Heirs or Undiscovered Wills: In some cases, the rightful heirs to a property may not be immediately apparent, especially in cases of inheritance. A thorough examination of wills and estates is necessary to ensure that all interested parties are accounted for.

  • Unreleased Mortgages: When a property has changed hands multiple times, it's possible that a mortgage from a previous owner was not properly released. This can cloud the title and potentially lead to legal complications.

The Importance of a Title Search

To uncover and address these title issues, a comprehensive title search is conducted during the real estate transaction process. This involves examining public records to ensure that the title is clear and can be legally transferred. As a real estate closing attorney, I work diligently to identify and resolve any issues that may arise during this process.

Resolving Title Issues

Once title issues are identified, the next steps involve resolving them to ensure a clear and marketable title. This may involve working with the parties involved, obtaining legal documentation, or even pursuing legal action in certain cases. The goal is to clear any clouds on the title and provide confidence to both the buyer and seller.

The Role of Title Insurance

Title insurance is a crucial component of protecting both buyers and lenders from unforeseen title issues. This insurance policy helps cover the costs of resolving any problems that may arise with the title after the transaction is complete.

In the complex landscape of North Carolina real estate, understanding and addressing title issues is paramount. A seasoned real estate closing attorney plays a vital role in navigating these complexities, ensuring a smooth transaction for all parties involved. By being aware of common title issues and the importance of a thorough title search, buyers and sellers can approach their real estate transactions with confidence, knowing that their investment is built on a solid foundation.


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Neither your receipt of information from this website nor your use of this website to contact The Lancaster Law Firm or one of its attorneys creates an attorney-client relationship between you and The Lancaster Law Firm. As a matter of policy, The Lancaster Law Firm does not accept a new client without first investigating possible conflicts of interests and obtaining/sending a signed engagement letter or email correspondence. Accordingly, you should not use this website to provide confidential information about a legal matter of yours to Lancaster Law Firm. 

No Legal Advice Intended: 

This website includes information about current, past, and future potential legal issues and legal developments for educational purposes only. Such information is provided for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most recent legal developments. Posted information is not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice for a particular set of circumstances you may be experiencing. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. 

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