When you buy a property, you are not just buying the land and any structures on it. You are also buying the title to the property, which is the legal ownership of the property. As a buyer, it is important to ensure that the title is clear and free of any defects or encumbrances. This is where title searches and title insurance come into play, and why it is important to have a real estate lawyer assist you in these matters.

What is a title search?

A title search is an examination of public records to determine the history of ownership of a property and any encumbrances that may affect the property's ownership or use. This includes any liens, mortgages, judgments, easements, or other legal rights or claims that may affect the property. The search will also reveal any restrictions or covenants affecting the use of the property.

The title search will typically be conducted by a title company or an attorney, and will involve a review of various public records, such as deeds, tax records, and court records. The goal of the title search is to uncover any issues that may affect the ownership of the property or its use, and to resolve those issues before the property is sold.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects the owner or lender against losses arising from defects in the title to the property that were not discovered during the title search. Unlike other types of insurance policies, which protect against future events, title insurance protects against events that have already occurred, such as fraud or errors in the public records.

Title insurance is typically required by lenders as a condition of issuing a mortgage loan, and is often purchased by buyers to protect their investment in the property. The cost of title insurance will vary depending on the location of the property, the value of the property, and the amount of the loan.

Why is title insurance important?

Title insurance is important because it provides protection against a wide range of potential title defects, including:

Fraudulent claims to the property

Forged or improperly executed documents

Liens or other claims against the property

Errors in public records or surveys

Unrecorded easements or other rights of others

Undiscovered encroachments or boundary line disputes

Without title insurance, the buyer or lender would be responsible for any losses arising from these defects, which can be very costly to resolve. Title insurance provides peace of mind for both the buyer and the lender, and can help to facilitate the closing of the transaction.

Why do you need a real estate lawyer?

A real estate lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of title searches and title insurance, and ensure that your interests are protected throughout the transaction. A lawyer can review the title search results and advise you of any potential issues or defects, and can help to negotiate with the seller or the title company to resolve those issues.

In addition, a real estate lawyer can help you understand the terms of the title insurance policy and ensure that you have the coverage you need to protect your investment. The lawyer can also review the closing documents and ensure that all of the necessary steps have been taken to transfer ownership of the property and to protect your interests.


Title searches and title insurance are essential components of any real estate transaction, and can help to protect the buyer and the lender against potential losses arising from defects in the title. While these processes can be complex and time-consuming, a real estate lawyer can help to guide you through the process and ensure that your interests are protected. If you are buying or selling property, it is important to consult with a qualified real estate lawyer to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.