If you have ever completed the mountain of paperwork necessary to buy a house, you may wonder how on earth a place can end up with title issues. Surely all that is needed is for sellers and buyers to sign, and the proof of transfer of ownership will be clear?
That is how it should work. Yet, complications can arise for several less obvious reasons:
When Grandpa Jo died, he left his house to his only son Al. At least that’s what he planned to do when he wrote his will ten years back.
It turns out that the month before he died, he wrote a new will leaving it to his new girlfriend, Marjory. That’s who you’ve been dealing with.
The problem is Al has filed a legal challenge claiming Marjory exerted undue influence to gain the inheritance and therefore has no right to take or sell it.
If this is the case, you may need to walk away or wait until a court resolves the matter.
Confusion over the boundaries
Neighbors can push fence lines in one direction or the other over time. While it might not be an issue at the time, it becomes one when one of them wants to sell.
Liens on the property
The law sometimes allows people or companies to place a claim on the property of someone who owes them money. Sometimes they are not resolved, or the records fail to show they are.
You want to be sure that when you sign to buy a house, it becomes yours. Getting legal help to check for outstanding title issues and clear them up is the best way to ensure this happens.