Preliminary Title Search - Posted by Michael

Posted by Joekaiser on March 14, 2002 at 17:43:33:

Call the title company and tell the person who answers the phone that you need to order title . . . he’ll connect you with a title clerk or title officer.

You say, “Hi, this is Michael . . . I need to order title. What information do you need?”

She’ll say, “who are you with?”

You say, “I’m a private party”

She’ll say, “are you the buyer or seller?”

You say, “the seller is Mary Smith, we’re just going to leave the buyer ‘open’ at this time.”

She’ll say, “do you have a property address or parcel number?”

You say “yes” and give them to her.

She’ll say, “is there a sales price?”

You say, “no, at this time we’re just leaving that open as well.”

She’ll say, “hold on, let me give you an order number,” punch it into her computer and read you a number (do write it down).

You say, “thanks, can I get two copies, and can you put a rush on it and fax it to me as well, my fax is 123/456-7890.”

She’ll say, “no problem.”

You say, “thank you.”


Preliminary Title Search - Posted by Michael

Posted by Michael on March 14, 2002 at 15:58:52:

How do I get a preliminary title search done. The title co. are telling me that there must be some earnest money, and a contract. I just want to have a title search done before. I present it to and investsor. That way I know the title is clean. Please help me!!!

Re: Preliminary Title Search - Posted by Craig (IL)

Posted by Craig (IL) on March 14, 2002 at 19:20:02:

There is NO GUARANTEE. It is recommended to purchase title insurance at closing, the closest one can get to a guarantee. Title insurers have pros do the research; will insure a title is clean, and would have to pay if they are wrong.

A preliminary search may be a good idea just for starters. This is especially true if there has been much action (legal, repairs, etc.) with the property or if current owners have had financial problems.

If you’re planning to learn more about REI this is searching the title is something you should learn to do. It doesn’t take much work or time, and is FREE. I’ve always found county workers to be polite, helpful, and don’t seem bothered if you, the “newbie”, asks them for help.

Title searching is as simple as going to the county tax office and county recorder’s office. These offices may have different names in your area; call the county and ask. If you don’t have the property pin number (or whatever the location index is called in your state), start at the tax office with the property address and the full name of the current owner(s). The office will tell you if any back taxes are owed as well as what the current assessment is. You can also get the pin number there.

From the tax office go to the recorder’s office; use the pin number to look up the current title. You will find current mortgages, refinances, retired mortgages, quit claim and warranty deeds, and similar actions during the current ownership.

Mind you this is only a PRELIMINARY search; not all potential problems will be uncovered this way If you are knew to real estaet buying and selling, I can’t recommend you take title without buying title insurance.

I can’t vouch for its quality, but if you want to learn about doing more complete searches Bryan Wittenmeyer ( has a book on it for RE investors. This would be if you want to learn how to do professional and complete title searches.