Your Guide to Handling Title Problems at Closing

Title Issues At Closing? Here’s What You Need To Do

Facing title problems at closing can be daunting for any homeowner looking to sell their house. These issues can halt the sale process, affecting both sellers and homebuyers, whether it’s liens, title defects, or unresolved easements.

This guide offers essential insights into navigating the complexities of real estate transactions, emphasizing the importance of a thorough title search, the role of title insurance, and the expertise of real estate professionals.

From understanding the significance of a clear title to leveraging the support of title companies and real estate attorneys, we aim to equip you with the knowledge to address common title problems effectively, ensuring a smooth closing process.

Title Problems at Closing: What to Do

Navigating through title problems at closing requires a proactive approach. By following these steps, parties involved in a real estate transaction can address and resolve title problems effectively, ensuring a smoother path to closing.

Consult a Real Estate Attorney

When title issues emerge, consulting a real estate attorney becomes indispensable. These professionals offer legal guidance, can interpret complex title reports, and help resolve disputes or claims.

For homeowners in California facing legal claims or mechanic’s liens, a seasoned attorney can navigate the intricacies of state laws, ensuring compliance and protecting ownership rights. 

Secure Title Insurance

Title insurance plays a crucial role in safeguarding against unforeseen title problems. It provides financial protection against past discrepancies such as undisclosed heirs or probate issues. 

Whether you’re a homeowner or a lender, investing in a title insurance policy ensures peace of mind throughout the real estate transactions.

Perform Due Diligence

Due diligence is key in preempting title problems. This involves conducting a thorough title search to unearth any undisclosed encumbrances, easements, or title defects.

Homebuyers and sellers should insist on a comprehensive title report from a reputable title company. This step is vital in identifying potential issues early on, allowing for timely resolutions before the closing process.

Title Issues To Be Aware Of At Closing

Closing on a property involves various steps and checks to ensure a smooth transition of ownership. Among these, resolving title issues is crucial for both sellers and homebuyers. Here, we delve into common title problems that can arise at closing.

Chain of Title Document Errors

The chain of title represents the historical sequence of property ownership transfers. Errors within this chain can cause significant problems at closing.

Vesting Deed Errors

These are important to consider when selling your house with a deed of trust. Vesting deed errors occur when there’s incorrect or incomplete information about the property owner’s legal right to the property. These mistakes can lead to disputes over the property’s rightful ownership.

Missing Mortgage Assignments

A mortgage assignment is a document that transfers a mortgage from one party to another. Missing assignments can question the legitimacy of the property’s lien, complicating the sale process.

Recorded Liens

Recorded liens are a common hurdle in the path to a clear title. A lien is a legal claim against a property, often due to unpaid debts such as property taxes, contractor fees, or mortgages. These claims must be resolved before the sale can proceed.

Identifying and clearing any liens early in the selling process is crucial if you want to sell your house in St. Paul or any other location. This protects the homeowner and the potential new owner from unexpected financial burdens.

Boundary Discrepancies

Boundary disputes arise when there’s a disagreement or confusion about the property’s exact boundaries. Whether it’s an encroachment by a neighbor’s structure or a misinterpretation of the property line, resolving these issues is essential for a smooth closing process. 

A detailed survey of the property, often facilitated by a real estate agent and attorney, can clarify property lines and help prevent future disputes. 

Your Guide to Handling Title Problems at Closing

What To Do If You Come Across a Title Error

Discovering a title error can be unsettling. Addressing the title error requires diligence, legal knowledge, and the right professional support. These steps can help restore your property’s title to good standing, ensuring your real estate transaction proceeds smoothly.

Verify the Error

First, confirm the error’s validity. Review public records and your property documents. Sometimes, discrepancies are due to clerical errors or outdated information. Verifying the error provides a clear understanding of what you’re dealing with.

Engage a Title Company

Once you’ve confirmed the error, engage a reputable title company. These professionals specialize in identifying, analyzing, and resolving common title issues. They can conduct a detailed title search, offering insights into the nature of the error and suggesting steps toward resolution.

Update Legal Documents

Updating these records is essential if the error relates to incorrect property descriptions or legal documents. Work with a real estate attorney to prepare and file the necessary legal documents to correct any inaccuracies in the property’s legal description or ownership details.

Negotiate with Involved Parties

Some title errors involve disputes over property lines or rights. In such cases, negotiating with the involved parties may resolve the issue. Mediation led by a real estate agent and an attorney can provide a platform for reaching an amicable agreement, potentially avoiding lengthy legal battles.

Clear Liens and Encumbrances

Clearing these claims is crucial for errors related to liens or other encumbrances. This might involve paying off debts or working with creditors to release the lien. Documentation proving the resolution of these issues should be obtained and filed appropriately.

Record the Resolution

After resolving the error, ensure all corrective actions are officially recorded in public records. This step is vital for maintaining a clear and accurate title history, protecting your ownership rights, and ensuring future transactions are free from complications.

Can You Still Sell a House if You Have Title Problems At Closing?

Selling a house with title problems requires extra steps and negotiation, but it is entirely possible with the right approach and professional support. Here’s how to navigate this scenario.

Identify and Understand the Issue

First, identify the title problem. Is it a lien, an easement issue, or a discrepancy in the property line? Understanding the specific issue is crucial for determining the next steps. Sellers should review public records and consult with a title company to grasp the full extent of the problem.

Seek Professional Advice

Consulting with a real estate attorney is essential. These experts can offer legal strategies to resolve the title issue, whether clearing a lien or correcting a deed. Their guidance ensures sellers navigate the legal landscape effectively, protecting their interests.

Consider a Title Insurance Policy

For unresolved title issues, sellers might still proceed with the sale by offering to purchase a title insurance policy for the buyer. This policy protects the new owner from financial loss due to title defects. While not a solution to all title problems, it can facilitate the sale process, providing peace of mind to both parties.

Explore Seller Concessions

Sellers can negotiate with potential buyers to reach an agreement that accounts for the title issue. This might involve lowering the sale price or offering concessions that compensate for the inconvenience or potential costs the buyer might incur to resolve the title problem post-purchase.

Disclose Everything

Transparency is key. Sellers must fully disclose all known title issues to potential buyers. This honesty fosters trust and can lead to a more willing negotiation from buyers who are informed of the risks upfront.

Use Specialty Services

Companies like Mill City Home Buyers specialize in purchasing homes with title issues. These cash home buyers often have the experience and resources to resolve title problems, offering a straightforward path for sellers.

How to Overcome Title Problems at Closing

Overcoming title problems at closing demands a strategic approach. By adopting these strategies, sellers can effectively overcome title problems at closing, ensuring a smoother transition of property ownership.

Prioritize Early Detection

The key to addressing title problems lies in early detection. Engage a title company for a comprehensive title search as soon as you decide to rent or sell your house. This preemptive step can uncover liens, easements, or encumbrances, allowing ample time for resolution before the closing process begins.

Utilize Escrow Agreements

An escrow agreement can be a strategic tool in handling title problems. This involves setting aside funds in escrow to address specific title issues post-closing, ensuring that the sale proceeds while assuring buyers that the issue will be resolved.

This method is beneficial for issues that require time to clear, such as pending release of liens or completion of legal processes like probate.

Implement Seller Financing

Selling financing becomes a viable option when title problems deter traditional lenders. By offering financing to the buyer, sellers can bypass immediate title clearance, with the understanding that the title will be cleared during the loan term. 

Apply for a Quiet Title Action

A quiet title action is a lawsuit filed to establish a party’s title to real property against any other claimants. This legal process clears title defects or disputes, providing a clean slate for the property title. Though it may take time, it’s a definitive resolution to complex title problems.


Navigating title problems at closing is critical in ensuring a successful real estate transaction. 

By conducting thorough title searches, engaging with professional real estate agents and attorneys, and securing title insurance, sellers and buyers can protect themselves from legal and financial complications.

Whether you’re looking to engage with cash home buyers in Minneapolis or navigate the complexities of real estate transactions anywhere, understanding and addressing title issues effectively paves the way for a smooth closing process.


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