How Title Issues Can Affect Your Real Estate Closing

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A thorough title inspection conducted by a real estate professional is one of the most important steps you take to protect your legal rights in a real estate transaction. It is critical to understand the common problems buyers and sellers can encounter in real estate transactions so that you know how to resolve them prior to closing. Attorney Lawrence M. Centanni can help you research and resolve title issues on New Jersey properties. By consulting with an attorney early, you can identify title issues in time to correct them before closing, which can save both parties time and money in the process. Call (908) 351-0028 today schedule your consultation.

Common Title Issues

There are many issues that can create a “cloud” over a title. These clouds can prevent the transfer of property if they are not corrected, but, in many cases, they can be corrected quickly, allowing the closing can occur on time. Here are some of the most common title issues that New Jersey real estate lawyers encounter:

Errors in Public Records

Deeds to property can contain the same mistakes as any other document. Misspellings, incorrect addresses, missing names, and other administrative errors can drastically affect your property rights. They can also make it legally impossible for the current owner to execute a legally binding deed. In many cases, these simple administrative errors can be quickly fixed by executing a corrected deed. The current owner then has the authority to complete the current real estate transaction.

A Former Spouse is on the Deed

Many spouses must divide real estate as part of a divorce. The divorce decree itself may divide property, but it does not create an effective change in title. This can lead to the former spouse still having property rights that must be resolved prior to the current real estate transaction being completed. As long as the former spouse is easily located and cooperative, it is relatively easy to have that person sign a quitclaim deed relinquishing any interest in the property. This removes any cloud on the other spouse’s title, and he or she can then deed the property in the current transaction.

Missing or Unknown Heirs

If the property was obtained through inheritance, the seller must have clear title before he or she can deed the property to a buyer. This process can be simplified by clear probate instructions. If, for example, the property is left to a single person in a will, this makes it easy for that person to get clear title in a deed from the estate. On the other hand, if the property is left to a group of persons (for example, “all my grandchildren”), this creates a complicated legal interest that involves many different people. All must be located and agree to relinquish interest in the property. This relinquishment then must be documented (usually with a quitclaim deed) before the seller has clear title to provide to a buyer.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with a New Jersey Real Estate Lawyer

Attorney Lawrence M. Centanni has experience representing buyers and sellers in all types of New Jersey real estate transactions. He can help resolve title problems on residential properties, commercial buildings, and undeveloped land. Call (908) 351-0028 or send us an email at to schedule a consultation with an experienced New Jersey real estate lawyer.

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