Few real estate markets are as blisteringly hot as Oklahoma City’s. Demand is high and available inventory is low, driving up the median home price and recent closings, according to The Oklahoman. This means prospective buyers need to be ready to act fast. If you don’t go into a situation prepared, you may lose out on the home of your dreams.
That includes accounting for something often overlooked by first-time homebuyers: a title opinion.
Why marketable title is important
Title is a critical element of any real estate purchase. It is, essentially, legal ownership. If you have a property’s title, you possess and control it.
Sometimes, title becomes messy. Previous owners may have had liens placed on the property, for example. There may be an easement or restriction of some sort tied to the land. Another mortgage might even exist.
All of these defects can cause problems for a new owner that does not know they exist. Imagine buying a home only to find out someone else has a legal claim on it because of a previous owner’s debt.
When purchasing property, you want title that is “clean” or “marketable.” This means it is free from these potential defects.
The purpose of a title opinion
In order to make sure a property’s title is marketable, an attorney will do an examination. This involves looking through a property’s history to determine if any problematic defects exist. It might include reviewing:
- Property deeds
- Wills and other public estate documents
- Court decrees
- Previous court cases
- Oil and mineral rights
Once this exam is complete, the attorney writes a report detailing any issues they found, as well as recommended fixes. This report is called a title opinion.
In Oklahoma, a title opinion completed and signed by a qualified attorney is an essential part of a real estate transaction. In addition, you can think of it like an extra layer of protection. A knowledgeable professional took the time to make sure you are buying exactly what you believe you are buying.
Purchasing a home is a big deal. You are counting on this property to be yours for years to come. A well-researched title opinion can help provide real peace of mind.