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Through a NJ property title search, you can collect the documents that show who has the legal right to own real estate.

Whenever a home is purchased in New Jersey, the seller has a duty to give a clear title to the property to the buyer. To avoid legal litigation, our NJ real estate attorney will order and review a property title search.



What does a NJ Property Title Search mean in Real Estate terms?

A property title search is the process in which the public records of a property are examined to confirm if the owner is legal and its rightful owner. The title search also reveals if there are any claims or liens on the property.

This process is important when buying a home, as it allows you to find out who has the legal right to own the home.

While an individual selling a home may legally own it, they may have hidden claims or liens on it.

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Liens are important to consider. If you don’t pay them, the creditor can seize the property. If you bought a home in the Garden State and are facing this situation, our New Jersey real estate litigation attorney can help.

Why Do I Need A Property Title Search In NJ?

A title search of the property is needed to find out if there are any old claims against the title of the property. In addition, these searches allow to know the debts of any of the previous owners.

The following points can become an extremely large liability for individuals if they skips the title search:

  • Unpaid liens and property taxes.
  • Home Owners Association (HOA) fees.
  • Bills for previous home improvements.

For reasons like these, mortgage lenders require both title searches and title insurance in New Jersey.

How To Do A Property Title Search In New Jersey In 2024?

To do a property title search in New Jersey you must follow 5 steps:

  1. Discover the transfer history in relation to the title. It involves knowing the transfers made with a property title from the current owner to the original owner. This can be found at the registrar’s offices.
  2. Tax search. The tax search reveals the current status of real estate taxes against the property. Such a search helps determine if there are any special assessments against the ground.
  3. Inspection. The inspection of the title is carried out to reveal if there are trespasses or other available matters that affect the title.
  4. Judgment search. The judgment investigation is carried out to find out if there are critical and unsatisfied judgments against the property.
  5. The closing. Once title mistakes (if any) are fixed, the buyer and seller can proceed with closing the real estate title transaction .

In addition to delving into what it is and how to do these title searches, you may be interested in learning about what a certificate of occupancy is in New Jersey.

What Documents Are Examined When Looking For Property Titles?

Here are some examples of documents that a title company or attorney reviews:

  • Bankruptcy records.
  • County land records.
  • Divorce cases.
  • Deeds.
  • Any other  financial judgments related to the property.
property title searches

Types Of Property Searches

There are several types of searches for these titles, the main ones are:

  • County searches: Conducted to pursue a title search to ensure that the current owner is the rightful owner.
  • Surrogates: In the event of death, surrogate ‘s court searches are conducted to ensure all required documentation is submitted.
  • Tideland searches: New Jersey claims interest from portions of homes that are currently or formerly flowing by tide or tidal streams. This problem affects almost every county.
  • Flood searches : These searches look at properties within the flood map areas. Through this, it can be determined if flood insurance is needed for that home. 
  • Municipal searches: They analyze the specific information of the city to sell the property. This includes tax information, equirements of code enforcement, and any tax discounts.

Common Problems You Might Face When Searching For Real Estate Titles In New Jersey

  • Improper transfer of title: This usually happens when the property is sold and the local government does not complete the required paperwork. As a consequence, such titles will indicate that the occupant is the previous owner.
  • Boundary encroachment: The size registered in the title must be equal to the actual size of the property. Therefore, the limits of the areas of the land registered with a title, reflect the real size of the real estate.
  • Complications with the estate: If there are multiple heirs or the absence of a will, it can make the title of the property unclear until the courts determine the legitimate owner. 
  • Unknown Owners: Because titles are the legal proof of a home, an unknown owner listed on the title can present a major challenge to the sale.
  • Forgeries: Some titles may be forged and disputes must be resolved prior to the sale of real estate. 
  • Contractor’s lien: If a homeowner orders work on their property but doesn’t pay for it, the contractor can place a lien against the property title. 
  • Tax lien: If the current owner has back taxes, tax liens will be added against their title. Taxes must be paid before selling the property.
selling a house in new jersey

Are you about to sell a house in Garden State and don’t know how? No need to worry. We have a blog focused on clearing all possible concerns about selling a house in New Jersey. Additionally, you can obtain all the legal support of our real estate experts.

How Much Does A Property Title Search Cost In NJ? 

A title search in New Jersey ranges from $75 to $200. However, this price varies depending on the location of the property and other factors.

It should be noted that New Jersey charges about 0.85% of the sale price of a home to transfer the title to the new owner. For example, if a home is sold for $500,000, $4,250 would be paid for title transfer.

The costs to buy a home in Garden State can be overwhelming in certain scenarios. Perhaps knowing how to apply for a convenient type of mortgage loan will help you fulfill your dream of getting that much-desired home.

Who Pays For The Title Search In New Jersey?

Generally, the home buyer is responsible for paying for a title search in New Jersey. 

In some circumstances, if the housing market is particularly poor, the buyer may be able to convince the seller to pay for the search.

who pays for the title search in new jersey

Who Does The Title Search?

A real estate attorney or a title company usually handles the title search for a property. In very few cases, the lender or the buyer can take over this search.

Are you having difficulty getting a loan? Learn what not to do when applying for a mortgage especially if you want to get a self-employed mortgage loan

What Happens After A Title Search In New Jersey?

Once all title searches have finished, the following occurs:

  1. The title company or attorney will provide a full report to the buyer. Such report will contain information about judgments, third party claims or liens.
  2. If any problems are discovered during the title search, the prospective buyer and their attorney may notify the seller or lender of the title problems.
  3. The main purpose of these searches is to ensure the transfer of a clean title.
  4. Once all issues have been resolved, the parties may proceed with closing. 

The experts at Curbelo Law not only focus on real estate purchases or sales, they are also landlord and tenant lawyers specializing in helping both parties. 

How Do You Know Who Owns A Property With A Title Search?

Title searches delve into the available public records for homes. Generally, an attorney uses the legal documents to establish a chain of title and confirm that the seller is the rightful owner of the home.

cost of a property title search

Beyond this, title searches remove any other financial or legal claims to the property. These searches are understood in two situations:

  1. The process. An examination of public records is conducted and work is done to gather all the necessary information. The title summary includes a recorded timeline of all documents and transactions made on the property.
  2. The results. Title searches can uncover any financial situation, such as liens, home taxes, or easements of any kind.

The expense of purchasing title insurance is worth considering, as the purchase of an insurance policy can protect an individual against a property claim.

Generally, the price of this policy is 0.5 to 1.0% of the purchase price and is usually included in the closing costs.

Are you considering buying a home in the Garden State and don’t know what your closing costs would be? You’ll find all the information you need in our article on closing costs in NJ.

How Long Does A Property Title Search Take In New Jersey?

Typically, the average time it takes for property title searches in New Jersey is usually 1-2 weeks. However, the time varies drastically, as it all depends on the complexity of the documents.

Newer houses usually have fewer documents than an older house. Although this process can be frustrating due to the wait, it is important not to rush the examiner, as they will be thoroughly evaluating these documents.

You already know how long this whole process takes. But do you already know what a quitclaim deed is in New Jersey? We invite you to browse our blog and find more information regarding this topic.

Do I Really Need The Help Of A Real Estate Attorney For A Property Title Search In New Jersey?

A property title search is a critical piece of buying a home in NJ as well as in all other states. Also, it is not the only part of this whole process that can be confusing for the buyer, especially if it is a first time buyer.

The Curbelo Law firm has helped hundreds of prospective homeowners with these issues over the years. Remember that although buyers or lenders can perform these searches, it is best left to professionals to avoid process failures and headaches for yourself. 

Call today or schedule a personal consultation at the office, which is located in Ridgewood, New Jersey.