Everything You Need to Know About Property Title Reports

By: ROS Team

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When you enter the real estate world, be it for selling, purchasing, or renting property, you will come across many terms you might not have heard before. This may especially be the case if you’ve never lived on your own.

Most people get confused about whether or not there’s a difference between property titles and property deeds. They are two different concepts. A property title report is one of the most critical documents in the home buying and selling process. Here is everything you need to know about property title reports.

What Is A Title Report?

A title report is a document that lists all of the information pertaining to the title of a piece of property. This includes the names of the current and previous owners, any outstanding mortgages or liens on the property, and any easements or rights of way that have been granted.

A title report also includes a history of any title transfers or changes that have been made. This information is important for both buyers and sellers, as it can help to identify any potential issues that may arise during the transaction.

For buyers, a title report can help to ensure that they are purchasing a property with a clean title. For sellers, a title report can provide peace of mind by demonstrating that they are selling a property with no outstanding encumbrances.

Why Do You Need a Property Title Report?

A property title report gives you insight into the home you want to buy. It also ensures that there are no surprises later on down the road.

A title report is important for several reasons:

1) It can help you determine whether the seller has the legal right to sell the property.
2) It can identify any potential problems with the title that could affect your ownership of the property.
3) It can help you avoid buying a property that has been subject to a previous mortgage or other liens.

If you opt to waive a property title report, you can find yourself in legal trouble later on. Other problems can result financially and through local enforcement actions if the items are not properly handled before the close of the transaction.

What Information Is Included In A Property Title Report?

Understanding that you need to acquire a property title report is one thing; looking at it and knowing what everything means is another. A typical title report will include the following information:

  • The name of the person who owns the property (the “titleholder”)
  • A list of all the people who have ever owned the property, starting with the titleholder and going back in time
  • A description of the property, including its size and location
  • Any mortgages or liens that are registered against the property
  • Any zoning bylaws that apply to the property

Property Title Report Schedules

The information included in a title report is divided into three sections:

1) Schedule A
2) Schedule B
3) Schedule C

Schedule A

Schedule A is a list of the current property owners and type of land interest. The schedule will also outline the scope of the title search and title insurance.

Schedule B

Schedule B is a list of any encumbrances on the property. This includes any claims, liens, or interests in the property that are not owned by the current owner.

Schedule C

Schedule C is a list of the specific legal description of the property that is being referenced in the title report. This could include lot and block numbers, metes and bounds, or other specific identifiers depending on how land records are documented in the local jurisdiction.

How Do I Get A Property Title Report?

To get a property title report, you can contact your state’s department of records or the county clerk’s office. They will be able to provide you with a list of all the previous owners of the property and their corresponding deeds.

How to Prepare a Title Report?

To prepare a title report, you will need to obtain a copy of the deed from the local recorder’s office. As well as any other relevant documents, such as title insurance policies or mortgage statements.

You will also need to run a title search, which can be done through an online service or a title company.

Once you have gathered all of the necessary documents and information, you will be ready to prepare your title report.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Property Title Report In NY?

It depends on the county, but generally, it takes around 2-3 days. You can get a title report from a title insurance company or from your state’s Registry of Deeds. The title report will show you the current owners of the property, as well as any mortgages or liens that are associated with it.

prepare title report

What Are Some Ways A Title Report Can Be Held?

When reading a property title report, make sure to keep an eye on the way the property is held. There are several ways a title report for a property can be held:

  • Sole Ownership: In this type of title report, one individual has exclusive rights over the property. That means they can sell, lease, rent, or occupy the property.
  • Tenancy in Common: When two or more people share the title, it is known as a tenancy in common. You often see this type of arrangement when multiple partners purchase an investment property together.
  • Joint Tenancy: Joint tenancy is when two or more individuals own the property together. The title must specifically say “joint tenants.” If it doesn’t, the property will automatically default to tenancy in common which has different rules.

What Are Some Potential Issues You May Encounter In A Title Report?

The real estate title report should not contain the following errors, as they may hinder the transfer of ownership when the property gets a new buyer. The most common issues in the title report include:

  • Property Liens: If a property has any liens filed against it, it will show up on the property title report. This can be an issue if you are looking to purchase the property, as the liens will need to be paid off in order for the sale to go through.
  • Illegal Deed: A deed can be deemed illegal if it is done by someone who is not entitled to transfer the property. If an illegal deed is found in a property title report, it is important to take action immediately. An illegal deed can cause problems with the title of the property and may even make the property unsellable.
  • Inheritance: When the rightful heir to a property is missing at the time of the owner’s death, other family members may claim to be the property’s rightful owner.
  • Encumbrances: An encumbrance is a claim against the title of a property. It can be a legal claim, like a mortgage, or it can be an equitable claim, like a lien. An encumbrance will show up on a property title report, and it can affect the value of the property.
  • Building Code Violations: Be aware of zoning laws and building codes, such as if the zoning law only allows residential units and you are buying a commercial building or if a building code requires a fire emergency system, but no unit has one.
  • Errors With Public Records: It is important to note that errors with public records can sometimes occur. This means that the information included in the report may not be accurate due to a clerical error.
  • Property Disputes: If you are buying a property from a previous owner, it is important to ensure that the title has been cleared by the previous owner. If there are any outstanding property disputes, it could create problems for you down the road.
  • Estate Plans: If the title report indicates that the decedent’s estate is the owner of the property. A potential issue arises with respect to how the property will be transferred after the decedent’s death. If the estate is the owner of the property, it is likely that the property will need to be transferred through a formal probate process. This process can be time-consuming and expensive.
  • Falsified Identity: Some people might try to use a false name in order to purchase or sell a property. This could cause the title of the property to become void, so it is important to be aware of any potential impersonations.

Preliminary Title Report

Always Get A Property Title Report

Title reports are an important part of the home-buying process.  These reports are typically prepared by a title company and can be ordered through them or online. Title reports should be reviewed by both the buyer and seller during the home-buying process to ensure there are no surprises later on. So before you step into the real estate market, consider the above questions thoroughly.

Property Title Report FAQ


What to do If you Lose your Property Title?

If you lose your property title, you can request a copy of the title from the local government office that is in charge of recording property titles. You will need to provide identification and proof of ownership in order to receive a copy of the title.

What does a Title Search Show?

A title search identifies who the legal property owner is. It also provides information about whether there are any lingering financial liabilities tied to the property (i.e. unpaid contracts, liens, mortgages, or judgments) that need to be cleared before the property can transfer to a new owner.

How much does it Cost to do a Title Search?

The fees to conduct a title search will vary depending on the property but can generally cost between $100 and $200. Usually, the cost for a title search is included in the closing costs when a property is sold.

How do I Order a Title Report?

To order a title report, you’ll need to contact the local government office that handles property titles in your area. They will be able to provide you with a list of authorized title search companies. Once you’ve selected a company, they will be able to provide you with a title report for the property.

Is the Title to a House the Same as a Deed?

Many people use ‘title’ and ‘deed’ interchangeably, but they are two different concepts. A deed is a legal document used to transfer property ownership from one person to another. In contrast, a title clarifies the ownership of a property and can be used to transfer this ownership to someone else.

What is a Preliminary Title Report?

A preliminary title report is a document that lists the current owner of a property, along with any liens or encumbrances currently on the property. It also states whether the title to the property is clear or not.

Who Pays for the Preliminary Title Report?

The preliminary title report is typically paid for by the homebuyer. The preliminary title report aims to identify any potential title issues that could impact the ownership of the property. The report will list any liens or other encumbrances on the property, as well as any pending litigation or other matters that could affect ownership.

Who is Responsible for Providing the Preliminary Title Report?

Typically, the listing agent is the one who is responsible for providing the preliminary report. What happens is that the title company or an attorney reviews the property’s title to identify any problems that could prompt someone to dispute ownership or that could make it an illegal sale. Their conclusion is added to the preliminary report, which then goes to the buyer.

How to Select a Good Title Company?

When selecting a title company, it’s important to consider the company’s experience, reputation, and customer service. The company should also be able to provide you with a variety of services, such as title insurance, escrow services, and real estate closings.

What are the Essential Parts of a Title Report?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the content of a title report will vary depending on the specific property or project being appraised. However, some of the most common components of a title report typically include an abstract of the title, a list of owners and lien holders, a legal description of the property, an examination of any existing mortgages or liens on the property, and an assessment of any potential risks or issues that could affect the title.

How do I Conduct a Property Title Search?

To conduct a property title search, you’ll need to gather some information about the property in question. Such as the address and the legal description of the property. Once you have the necessary information, you can begin your search by contacting a title insurance company or a private title search company.

Read Also:

What is a Property Title Search and How to Do It
What Does Title Mean in Real Estate?