Buying Step 7: Do a Title Search and Finalize Your Financing

Do a Title Search

After making an offer, you need to do a title search on the property you wish to buy. Your agent or a lawyer can do this for you. Typically, all homes listed on an MLS are required to have this done by the listing agent and your agent can obtain a copy. If not, title records are kept at local courthouses and detail real estate ownership (sometimes over hundreds of years) in the local community.

These records are important because they provide proof that the owner has valid, marketable and insurable title to the property they are selling. Equally important, such records enable buyers to provide proof of ownership when they in turn sell the property.

Title insurance is necessary because even though the history of property ownership has been checked, it's possible that the records contain errors, unrecorded claims or flaws in the review itself. Title insurance is paid at closing.

Finalize Your Financing

Often, the cost of real estate financing is greater than the original purchase price of a home (after including interest and closing costs).

Now that you’re offer has been accepted and there is valid title to the property you are purchasing, it is time to finalize your preapproved financing. Your mortgage broker or REALTOR® or loan officer can help you select the mortgage option that is best for you. Because there are so many mortgage options and lenders, it’s a good idea to shop around for a mortgage just as you shopped around for a home.