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  • NVT&E Team

How Long Does a Title Search Take?

Updated: Feb 27, 2023


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If this is your first time purchasing a home, there is a good chance you are anxious about your settlement. But, it can take anywhere between 30 and 60 days, on average, to close a real estate transaction due to all of the steps in the process. After all, there is so much involved - submitting the offer, signing the contract, home inspections, appraisals, loan approvals, and more.


The entire fate of the transaction, however, may rest on the title search. Here’s what you need to know about it - and how long it takes.


What is a Title Search?


A title search basically involves investigating the details of the property’s past. It looks closely at all previous ownerships, including any outstanding debt, liens, or legal issues that may have appeared during that time.


The title company is looking for a clear title. To accomplish this, they are looking through all types of records, such as prior deeds, prior mortgages, tax payments (or lack thereof), liens, judgments, probate records, bankruptcy records, easements, land records, legal descriptions, assessments, and more.


Ultimately, they want to ensure that there is nothing that could jeopardize your right to the property should you purchase it - and that the person selling you the property has the proper authority to do so.


How Long Does a Title Search Take?


On average, your title search will take about 10 to 14 days. This allows for a thorough search of public records, as well as time for the curative team to review the report and handle any potential issues before clearing the title for closing.


Keep in mind that some title searches can be very quick whereas others with more intricate situations or extensive histories can take extra time.


The title search is a very crucial step in any real estate transaction as it can protect the buyer from potentially making a very costly mistake, give the buyer peace of mind when the title is cleared, and present the opportunity to purchase title insurance.


What is a Clear Title?


Throughout the process of purchasing your property, you will hear phrases like clear title or title clearance quite a bit. That is because it is such a big deal. As a matter of fact, whether or not you have a clear title can make or break a sale.


Sometimes, depending on what it is, clearing up title issues can become a condition of the sale. For instance, if there is a judgment from a creditor attached to the property, the judgment will have to be paid in order to be removed. If the seller agrees to pay that judgment as part of the sale, then the title team will obtain a payoff from the creditor and it will be an extra step handled at closing.


So, what is a clear title? It means that the title search was done and there were no title issues or encumbrances. In other words, there are no liens, no judgments, no outstanding taxes, etc. Therefore the person who is selling the property can do so without any legal issues.


Learn More About Your Title Search


You’re going to have questions about the title search and overall settlement process. And, at NVT&E, we understand that. It’s why our title experts are here to give you the answers you need when you need them.


Contact us today at one of our convenient locations:


Oakton/Fairfax 703-938-3200

Lake Anna 540-894-4342


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