Title vs Deed- What is the Difference?

The words title and deed can often be confused and they have different definitions. Title in terms of real estate means ownership of property. “Title to real estate is simply its ownership status, and a deed is the document used to transfer the ownership” said James Erwin, an expert in real estate. The property’s title is really an intangible concept whereas the deed is a physical document.

If the title isn’t a physical thing then why are you paying for it? To protect yourself from a financial disaster. When people say we need to do a title search think of it like a “report card” of the property. Title searches cost money and are done by title companies and they look through property records for any signs of potential trouble with the home’s ownership. Examples: the prior owner did not pay their taxes or an unresolved property line dispute.

Even if a search comes back with a clear title you ‘ll need to pay for title insurance, if you are taking out a mortgage. Title insurance protects the policyholder against loss if a defect in the owner’s title is challenged by anyone at any time. This one time expense is part of your closing costs.

Yvonne Varas is a Real Estate agent on Long Island, NY.
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