Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a title search?
- What is a title report?
- What is a Certificate of Title?
- What is title insurance?
- I paid for a title search – why do I need to buy title insurance also?
- What is a closing/Settlement?
The information from a title search provides the foundation for a successful real estate transaction. It includes an examination of title documents and records filed in the Office of the Town Clerk of the town in which the property is located in order to determine whether title to the property is marketable; i.e. whether there are any defects in the title. In Connecticut there are 169 towns and cities each having their own town hall. This makes title searching in Connecticut a very time consuming task as opposed to other states in which the title documents are kept in the County Registry of Deeds.
After the search has been completed, the searcher gathers all of the information obtained and prepares a title report. A title report is a written summary of what is discovered in the title search. In certain respects, it may resemble a title certificate, described below, but is not a legal conclusion. The report is the title searcher's factual conclusion concerning the status of title according to the public records.
A certificate of title is a legal opinion by an attorney on the legal state of the title of specific real property. It will reflect any clouds on title such as rights of way, servitudes and easements.
Title insurance protects you from losses that occur from various matters affecting title to land. There are two basic types of policies: Owners' policies to protect the owner, and Loan policies to protect the bank's mortgage. The policy is issued by a title agent representing a title insurance company. Connecticut is one of the few states that require licensed attorneys to serve as title agents.
A title policy insures against many defects which could not be discovered in a title search, as well as insuring against errors in the title search itself.
The “closing” or “settlement” is the actual purchase and sale of the property, or when referring to a refinance, the date the mortgage documents are signed.