Local Real Estate Agents' Recommendations...

Neshaminy Abstract
Neshaminy Abstract
451 South Bethlehem Pike #300
Fort Washington, PA 19034

Tohickon Settlement Services
Tohickon Settlement Services
6464 Lower York Road Suite B
New Hope, PA 18938

Mid Atlantic Regional Abstract
Mid Atlantic Regional Abstract
2003 South. Easton Road #106
Doylestown PA, 18901


Bucks County Title Companies:

Everything that you need to know about Title Companies:

Bucks County Title Companies

What Is The Role Of A Title Company?

When a property seller and a buyer enter into a formal purchase agreement for a home, a title company usually plays a large role in the formal sale closing.  Title companies help sellers transfer their titles, and they help buyers take possession of titles.  Title companies also conduct title searches for existing claims on properties, prepare title insurance for sellers, and maintain necessary accounts for sellers and buyers.  Title companies play several key roles in common real estate transactions, such as mortgage lenders.  The title company reviews title issues insurance policies, facilitates closings, and files and records paperwork.  A real estate title company conducts a title search.  This makes sure that the seller has the legal right to sell the property.  This search also shows there are unpaid taxes, real estate liens, or other issues that the buyer must be aware of.  A clear title is a requirement for a real estate transaction to go properly.

Title vs. Deed

A deed is a legally binding document used to transfer the property from one owner to another.  When you close on your home, this is signed and witnessed before given to you as the new homeowner.  The deed contains a description of the property so that everyone knows what is being transferred.  A title is the actual piece of documentation that says you are the owner of the home.  The person who has his or her name on the title will aslo sign documents related to the mortgage, 

When you begin looking for a new home, it is reasonable to assume that if someone is selling a property they have the right to do so.  A title company carries out an extensive search of the property related to the home you wish to buy.  The company does this to ensure the seller has the legal right to sell the property and that there are no full, or partial claims which could affect your ownership.

Title Search Process

The first thing that a title company will do is to perform a title search.  This is done to ensure that there are no obstacles to the clean transfer of ownership of a home.  A title search looks for the following issues:

  1. Outstanding Mortgage - Unless the previous home is owned free and clear, the current homeowner will have a mortgage tied to the property.  This will need to be paid off at the closing so that the title can be transferred to you.
  2. Unpaid Tax Liens - If the previous owner has some unfulfilled responsibilities, they can be taken to court, and the complaining party can win a judgement that stays with the property until the person is paid.  One such example of this could be that they contractor wasn’t paid after the completion of the work.
  3. Other Existing Liens - You could have a lien on the property for other things like home equity or a loan of solar panels to be paid off.  These need to be paid off or otherwise removed before you can close the deal on the new home.
  4. Restrictions - If anything is restricting the free transfer of ownership in a property that can cause a problem.  Examples of restrictions would be a requirement to be a certain age to live in a community or a requirement to belong to a certain group.
  5. Easement - Easements are agreements that you are the owner of the property, but you are giving someone the right to use your property for a defined time.  For instance, you can give out some space in your house for parking for someone.  Another example is if the township uses part of your property for drainage purposes.
  6. Leases - If the property is rented out to anyone for a specific time, a title search will find the particulars of the agreement.

Once the initial search is complete, the real estate title company may ask for a survey of the property to be carried out.  This will be done to ensure that the boundaries of the property are where you believe them to be and that the structures of the land are entirely within those boundaries.  As a part of the process, the company will also check if any neighboring land is using a part of your new property.

Once all of the research information has been obtained and the real estate title company is satisfied they have discovered everything that they wanted to know, the company will go ahead and issue what is known as an Abstract Of The Title.  The abstract is the summary of everything they have found during their title search.  It contains the basic history of ownership and any issues that might have been discovered.  The abstract is the first draft of the official title information and is issued so that the sale of the home can move forward.

Final cross checking of the title is then done to come up with the final documents.  Once this is done A Title Opinion Letter is issued.  This letter is a legally binding document and confirms for all parties the information found in the title search is accurate.  It usually contains the same information as the abstract.

When the title opinion letter is issued the real estate title company will issue title insurance.  This policy protects the buyer and the lender against any legal proceedings that may arise around the ownership of the property in the future if something is missed by the title company.  All the lenders require the buyer to pay for their lender title insurance and this cost is added to fees paid at the closing.

While the decision to purchase an owner’s title insurance is up to you, there are many reasons why you should consider spending money on this:

  1. The home has had many prior owners.
  2. You would not be able to afford legal fees associated with disputing a potential claim to ownership.
  3. This will give you satisfaction and peace of mind.

Things To Consider

In Pennsylvania, the buyer typically pays for the title insurance and fees during closing, but they also are the ones who can select the title companies used in closing.  However, many typically take the recommendation of their realtor when it comes to this decision.  AgentsAdvise recommends the title companies listed on this page because they are familiar and experienced with Bucks County homeowners.  The title company is a very important aspect of your home buying experience, reach out to one of the one recommended here on this page.

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