difference between title search title report and title insurance in Florida

The Difference between Title Search, Title Report and Title Insurance in Florida

Apr 21 2021

In Florida, a title search, title report, and title insurance are different components of the closing process of a real estate transaction. Even though each proceeding is different, they are some of the essential steps to achieving a successful closing. 

Even though the buyer and seller involved in a transaction can work their way through all these distinct processes, the best approach is to rely on an expert title and escrow company to ensure a positive outcome. 

In this article, you will discover the difference between title search, title report, and title insurance in Florida. 

Title Search – Understanding the Concept 

A title search is an in-depth examination of a property’s history to determine and confirm its legal ownership. During the title search, the title examiner goes through public records and other sources to find any title issues. 

In Florida, the most common places where a title examiner will work to find any title defects include the county assessor’s office, the property appraiser’s office, the county court records/public records, and surveyor’s records. 

After conducting a detailed examination of the property’s history, the title examiner will issue a title report with the results of the research. Typically, common problems involving titles in Florida include:

  • Forged documents
  • Fraud 
  • Judgments attached to a property
  • Unknown easements 
  • Property liens
  • Boundary disputes
  • An undiscovered will
  • Missing heirs 

Technically, buyers themselves can perform the search on their own, as title searches require digging into public records that are accessible by anyone. 

Nonetheless, the best approach is still working with an expert title and escrow company in Florida. Title companies have access to a title plant, which is a certified record database containing all real property-related information for the past 30 years. 

Hence, title companies can access a higher level of certified data to confirm the history of a property. Plus, a title search conducted by a seasoned title expert will easily detect any encumbrances or defects that may affect the document. 

Title Report – Understanding the Concept 

Once the title search is concluded, the final product of the proceedings is the title report. The title report is the document that contains all the information uncovered during the search.

Any defects or issues associated with the property’s title will be disclosed and printed out in the title report. Even though the language utilized in the report is not so easy to understand, it will contain the most valuable information to determine if the title is clear. 

Generally, the title report will have distinct sections. Each section will address different characteristics of the property, such as: 

  • Property and owner information
  • The property’s legal description
  • Any liens and encumbrances related to the property
  • Easements
  • Tax information
  • Restrictions (e.g., historic districts)  
  • Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (in certain cases only)

When a previous owner of the property has any outstanding debts that have been recorded against it, a lien is likely to appear in the title report. It is crucial to solving any lien-related problems before the closing, otherwise, the proceeds from the sale may be distributed to the lien holders. 

A title report will also reveal all outstanding taxes of the property’s current owner. Before solving any lien-related problems, the primary concern is to pay any taxes owed. Any unpaid back taxes can preclude the transfer of the title at the closing process.

Title Insurance – Understanding the Concept 

In Florida, a title insurance policy offers a layer of protection for the buyer if there are any undisclosed issues with the title or should a third-party appear to have a claim on the property’s ownership.

In real estate transactions involving mortgage/financing, a title insurance policy is also applicable for lenders.

There are two types of title insurance. The first is the owner’s insurance, which protects the owner of a newly-acquired property against unforeseen title issues. The second type is the lender’s insurance, which covers the lender’s interest in case of title defects. 

Typically, the standard title insurance policy in Florida will cover title issues such as: 

  • Forged documents
  • Fraudulent sellers
  • Certain problems missed during a title search
  • Improperly filed documents
  • Unknown heirs

In terms of costs, the standard premium of a title insurance policy in Florida varies based on the total value of the property. Plus, the responsible party just has to pay the premium once at closing. 

Work with the Best Closing Company in South Florida to Ensure a Smooth Closing Process 

At Marina Title, we have a team of title experts to perform a title search, prepare the title report and provide the ideal title insurance policy for your situation. 

Waste no time with uncertainty. Call us today at (305) 901-5628 or email us at Info@MarinaTitle.com to schedule a consultation.

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