Step 2: Title Deeds and Contract Requested
This page contains a detailed description of Step 2 of the 10-step property purchase process
Your solicitor has now requested a copy of the contract and title deeds from the seller’s solicitor and once received title review can commence.
Review of Title generally involves carrying out an investigation on the title deeds produced and making sure from the Title Deeds that no other party has any interest in the property other than the Seller. If an interest is not disclosed in the Title Deeds, is not obvious from an inspection of the property or doesn’t show up in closing searches done at completion of the transaction then the Purchaser will have a legal remedy in law against the Seller.
You, as the buyer, will need to get what is called a “good marketable title” to the property i.e. that there will be no problems. As they say “the day you buy is the day you sell.”
You want to be able to sell on the property or mortgage it and a bank will not lend on a property that has not got good marketable title. Your solicitor will have to give an undertaking to the bank that in return for the bank lending the money to buyer to purchase the property. Your Solicitor will demonstrate that you have a good marketable title to the property. Your Solicitor will not pay over the loan or mortgage funds until he/she has raised any queries arising on the title and carried out final searches on the title on the day it is agreed closing will take place.
When you buy or sell a property, the title or ownership will be transferred from the seller to you or vice versa. Reviewing Title Deeds is the method of identifying ownership. Title deeds themselves are paper documents showing the chain of ownership for land and property. They can include conveyances, contracts for sale, wills, mortgages, leases and various other documents necessary to convey and prove title.
In the last 20-30 years, property started to be registered nationally on what is now a computerised database and in most cases the Land Registry now hold all relevant information required to ‘prove’ ownership. However, Title Deeds and associated plans are still vital when trying to establish historic ownership and in the resolution of boundary disputes and planning issues. This review takes time and any unclear elements or anomalies will be dealt with by the solicitors prior to signing the contracts.
While this stage of the process is being undertaken feel free to contact to discuss any aspect of the process or to get help to find other services you may need.
Your solicitor will now exchange details with the solicitor from the other side and contracts and a copy of the Title Deeds will be sent for review. The Title Deeds for the property are usually kept at the bank which holds the current mortgage over the property. Once these have been received by the seller's solicitor, they then draft the contract.
While Title review is underway, it is a good time to ensure you have the necessary finance and insurance in place to complete the property transaction. Check with www.lintil.com for referrals to market-leading insurance quotes.
A critical element for any transaction is responding to enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitor. At their core, enquiries are simply questions raised as to the nature of the property itself or on the title, rights and obligations that come with the land. The purpose of enquiries is to ensure that a buyer has a full picture of the property they intend to purchase and highlight any defects or issues that may arise either during ownership or on a future re-sale. The exact number and nature of enquiries that can be raised is not fixed, although solicitor’s firms typically raise only those specific additional enquiries required to clarify issues arising out of the documents submitted or which are relevant to the particular nature or location of the property or which the buyer has expressly requested. Reciprocally, the seller’s solicitor is only obliged to provide responses to enquiries that cover such matters.
Both your solicitor and the seller's solicitor will exchange details and once contracts have been exchanged you will be updated. Title review is carried between both sets of solicitors. There is no need to contact your solicitors while this is being undertaken. Issues generally arise that need input from lending institutions, the Property Registration Authority, the Revenue, Local Authorities and others. If these issues appear the solicitors will undertake to contact these third parties on the behalf of both parties.