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How to Clear the Title on Your Home

by Maggie Lourdes

Buyers generally demand clear or marketable property title when you sell your home. Clearing title ensures the property is free of liens and claims. A title company can handle the process of clearing property title for you and can also offer title insurance to cover any future claims arising against the property.

Clearing Property Title

Ordering a Search

Contact a local title company. Obtain their fees for searching, clearing and insuring property title. Ask if you can receive a credit if you furnish your old title policy.

Reviewing claims

Provide your name and the property address to your title company coordinator. Provide any other information that identifies your property, such as the legal description, or parcel identification number. Furnish your old title policy if you have it.

Paying claims

Review the title search report for liens and other outstanding title claims. Have the title company request and provide payoff letters for any mortgage liens, or other claims, such as delinquent property taxes or water bills. Pay off title claims by depositing payoff funds into the title company's escrow account, or deducting payoff amounts from your closing proceeds.

Keeping your records

Have the title company obtain releases for all paid title claims. Have the title company record the releases in your county's register of deeds office. Pay for all recording and final title company fees. Keep all title searches, title commitments, releases, payoff letters, and closing documents for your records.

Items you will need
  • Property address.
  • Property legal description.
  • Property tax parcel identification number.

Warning

  • Consult an attorney with complicated title issues or specific questions regarding your house title.

About the Author

Maggie Lourdes is a full-time attorney in southeast Michigan. She teaches law at Cleary University in Ann Arbor and online for National University in San Diego. Her writing has been featured in "Realtor Magazine," the N.Y. State Bar's "Health Law Journal," "Oakland County Legal News," "Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal," "Eye Spy Magazine" and "Surplus Today" magazine.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images