Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate)

Spam prevention
Ken Jones
Ken Jones Real Estate Advisor - Toms River, NJ
Real Estate Trainer & Consultant

Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate A pre-listing title search is one of the smartest things any real estate agent can do regardless of the type of property; even when you personally know the seller.

A title search will uncover so many issues that many sellers don't disclose because they either don't think the issue is important or they actually don't know it exists.

Doing a title search pre-listing will certainly eliminate, or at least minimize issues that can fatally impact a transaction and result in litigation for both the seller AND the agent.

And, yes. I make it a practice to do this ever since I had a tenant sign a listing contract with me who represented themselves as the seller. Talk about a problem?

Jan 08, 2021 05:00 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have my title guy open escrow as soon as I secure a listing and have him send me the prelim to put in the MLS so that there is proof that escrow has in fact been opened.  So many agents here state it as a way to lead buyer agents to their title person but they don't truly have escrow open.

Jan 08, 2021 04:09 AM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

yes we do a property profile title report on every property in the listing process. It helps clear up some issues before we have an offer

We are a bit like the wild west up here and its better to be proactive for a successful closing 

Jan 07, 2021 09:14 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

No.  We have easy access in our MLS software to the details about the property, including who is on title.  If the names match, that's good for me.  If I know going in that it'll be something more complicated (like a probate or a lot of inter-family transfers) then I'll get title involved straight away (once I have a signed listing agreement, of course.  No sense doing someone else's job 😉).


I've only seen one or two instances in the last 6 years or so where title needed to help clear things up.  One was a lot line issue in a residential tract (from the 70s, I think) where the builder screwed up and was a foot or two off from where the lot lines should have been.

Jan 07, 2021 06:15 PM
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Sometimes... it really depends on the situation, Fred... but a title search up front can help eliminate many a subsequent issue.

Jan 08, 2021 05:11 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

It is surprising how often the surviving spouse was unaware of HELOC or other loan, on property.
It is essential for the seller to know factually what their net will be so they can plan on where they are going.
I find this to be a better approach than to sort it out before all the docs are inked.
Unfortuneately, the shame experienced, prevents the intended seller from using the bearer of bad news when the time becomes right.

Jan 08, 2021 06:36 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Sometimes, if we have questions about any easements, right of ways or encumbrances.

Jan 08, 2021 04:42 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Not generally. If I suspect something might be a problem, then yes!

Jan 08, 2021 04:15 AM
Peter Mohylsky. Beach Expert
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

No, not under normal circumstances

Jan 08, 2021 03:58 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Always trot into the registry of deeds for a legal description, plat maps, to search for sometimes unrecorded old surveys that show right of ways or retained well easements, etc Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate . Lucky to live in the county seat where the registry of deeds is less than a half mile away. Know going in what you are going to wrestle with if you ever hope to get to a successful real estate closing. The title companies relying only with what's digitized and online or recorded in recent years miss out on a ton of local data and history that only those in the market glean. Use local attorneys, lawyers, law firms works best from my experience. Do you promote that? Good for the local economy too.

Jan 08, 2021 03:42 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author


Jan 07, 2021 06:07 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Since we are an attorney state & the sellers attorney does title, all I do is check the records in a few areas to see what shakes out. Tax, county, etc.

Everything is subject to easements.

Jan 08, 2021 06:02 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

No but I do look at the deed and postings for the property at the Registry of Deeds

Jan 08, 2021 07:21 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

100% of the time ... yes. 

I would not consider not pulling a preliminary title report. Sometimes that report requires the title company to do a deeper dive if it appears there are issues that need to be addressed and resolved.  We want to resolve all issues upfront ... no one likes surprised at the 11th hour that causes delays in closing. 

The preliminary title report is included in the seller disclosures and buyers are required to "read and acknowledge". 

Jan 08, 2021 10:05 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

The current custom in our market is to open escrow on a pre-sale basis and obtain a preliminary report (title search) to determine the correct vesting of the ownership and whether there are any unexpected or unknown liens. This information is made part of the disclosure package available to potential buyers.

Jan 08, 2021 09:29 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Yes of course, ownership is know whether it's a city property or rural property.

Jan 08, 2021 08:56 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We always pulled a pre-lim for any listing.  There was a case where someone claimed to own a building, and they did not...A

Jan 08, 2021 07:50 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I probably won’t unless I knew Sellers were in Economic Distress

Jan 08, 2021 07:32 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Fred I ask my Title Rep to do a Preliminary Title Report on all my  about to list properties, with land you be surprised what you might find a bit scary...Endre

Jan 08, 2021 08:56 PM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Not usually although I had one instance where it would have been of benefit. The property turned out not to have "legal access" i.e. documented access because the road leading to it (and other properties) used to be owned by one state agency, then turned over to another, access/easement letters from "way back then" had not been recorded with properties as they were subdivided and changed hands... It turned into a quagmire for the seller but we did eventually solve the issue and it sold. 

Jan 08, 2021 01:49 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

If there is any reason to suspect there could be issues, absolutely. Some properties, it's not necessary, but if there be dragons = see what you're getting into. A deal that fell out this Summer the agents needed to have done that, the property was landlocked, one of the neighbors was BLM (State Land) and would not get to us for a year minimum to grant legal access, and the 'seller' did not have legal authority to convey and the 'mama' who was the legal owner did not have capacity. Wasted months of our time!

Jan 08, 2021 09:26 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Absolutely, I want to know if there is anything on title that needs attention before marketing.

Jan 08, 2021 08:07 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Yes, absolutely!

Jan 09, 2021 12:00 PM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA

another reason I'm happy to only work with buyers.

Jan 08, 2021 07:43 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Sometimes. It just depends on the property.

Jan 08, 2021 10:52 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

no I do not, but I do always look up the deed.

Jan 08, 2021 10:01 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Only if I think something is amiss, suspicious or need to know something that I need to know to stay out of trouble.

Jan 08, 2021 09:48 AM