If you have bought or are planning to buy a home in the Greater Boston area, you may come across the term “registered land.” Registered land in Massachusetts is actually more common than you may think. They amount for about 20% of properties. It may be helpful to understand what this term actually means and how it differs from other types of real estate in Massachusetts.

Registered Land in Massachusetts

Put simply, registered land means that the title is certified by the state of Massachusetts. All documents pertaining to a particular parcel of land is registered with the Land Court (in addition to the County Registry of Deeds), must follow certain guidelines, and is carefully reviewed. This includes any encumbrances and liens on a property. Because it follows a more formal process and is essentially guaranteed by the state, title to registered land is more likely to be “accurate.” Purchasers of registered land have less to worry about when it comes to title issues and chain of title.

Benefits of Registered Land to Home Buyers

One of the key features of registered land has to do with property boundaries. At some point, the Land Court reviewed the boundaries of a property and rendered a decision on the exact boundaries. This information is not subject to future dispute. This can provide some peace of mind to buyers.

Registered vs. Recorded Land, What’s the Difference

A majority of real estate in Massachusetts is recorded land, rather than registered land. Recorded land records are filed with the Registry of Deeds. Although the Registry does ensure that documents are formatted properly, there is no additional oversight on the records. They are not guaranteed in any way and are therefore more prone to errors.

Closings for Registered Land

You’ll find that when purchasing registered land in Massachusetts, your closings will take place at the Registry of Deeds (also the location for Land Court). Registered land transfers must be filed in person. There is no option to file electronically.

If you have any questions or concerns about the purchase of registered land in Massachusetts, please feel free to give us a call. We regularly perform real estate closings in Massachusetts and understand how to properly handle the purchase of registered land in Massachusetts.