Title Searches: What They Are & Why You Need Them

For real estate transactions in Arkansas, title searches are crucial. It is so important, no matter where deals are conducted, to work with reliable title companies that perform thorough searches and professional procedures necessary to reach a satisfactory closing.

A title search is performed primarily for two reasons: to verify the seller’s right to transfer ownership, and to uncover any claims, errors, assessments, debts, or other restrictions on the property. The American Land Title Association reports that title companies discover and remedy issues with titles in approximately 25 percent of transactions.

Title Searches in Arkansas are necessary to protect the buyer!

1 Chain of Title: This is a history of ownership of the property, detailing who has bought and sold it and when. Title companies typically derive this information from public records like the circuit clerk or recorder’s office.

2 Tax Search: This determines the current status of general real estate taxes (e.g., whether any taxes are past due and/or unpaid from prior years, and the existence of any special assessments against the property). Unpaid taxes or special assessments may be liens on the property that could have priority above all liens. A tax search reveals such information, while owner’s title insurance protects the buyer.

3 Judgment and Name Search: It’s vital to determine if there are any unsatisfied judgments against the seller or previous owners that existed while they owned the title. A judgment (general lien against debtor’s real estate) constitutes security for any money owed under the judgment. Because the property can be sold to satisfy the judgment, a thorough title search is crucial. Again, title insurance provides assurance that a title is not subject to judgments.

If you need a title search, Arkansas is home to an independent company with a team of experts in the title industry. First National Title Company serves Central and Northwest Arkansas.

We also issue mortgagee’s and owner’s title insurance policies. While an owner’s title policy isn’t usually required like a lender’s policy is, most of today’s buyers recognize the value of having the assurance of a valid title.

We’re happy to answer your questions. Call any of our offices listed below, or contact us here.