Buying a home, whether it is your starter home or your “forever” home is an exciting process. There are many steps in the home buying process in Illinois. One major part of purchasing a home is a title search. Title searches are essential, as a defective title may mean the sale cannot go through.

What would make a title defective?

A title is the legal document that proves a person owns the piece of property listed in the title. Title defects are impairments on a piece of property. Some examples of title defects include liens, mortgages or judgments. Inconsistencies between the language of the title and area real estate standards, as well as mistakes in the title regarding the identity of the property are also types of title defects.

Can you sell a home with a defective title?

Because other parties have a claim to a home with a defective title, the home cannot be sold to someone else. To sell a home with a title defect, the defect must first be cleared. If a party tries to sell a home with a defective title, he or she may be held legally responsible for any damages or could lose the title to the home entirely.

Title searches and “quiet title” actions

Title searches are performed to identify the true owner of the property. If this proves to be ineffective, a legal action called “quiet title” can be sought, in which the court will identify the true owner of the property.

Seek legal help when buying a home

Ultimately, to avoid title problems when buying a home, performing a title search is essential. Many homebuyers who uncover title problems do not have the experience or knowledge to handle them on their own. For this reason, many choose to work with real estate attorneys in the Godfrey area, who can provide legal advice and representation, which this post does not provide.