You’d like to sell your home. You’ve gone through the process of marketing it for sale and negotiating an acceptable offer from a buyer. You may have even starting packing up belongings in anticipation for the big day,…but wait, there’s a title issue! Unfortunately, title issues are not often identified until you’ve made it pretty far into the process. At this point, the pressure is on to correct the issue as quickly as possible. Resolving property title issues in MA could require different approaches.

Direct Resolution

For minor title issues, the closing attorney or your own attorney may be able to help fix it quickly. Title issues can be any number of things, so it really does depend. For example, if you owned a property with a family member and something was missing when that family member transferred the property to your sole ownership, you might simply need to contact that family member to sign a document. If you refinanced your mortgage in the past and one of the mortgage companies forgot to release the lien, it may be a matter of contacting that company to obtain the proper paperwork. A minor title issue may only result in a short delay. In some cases, the closing may not get delayed at all, which is ideal for all parties involved.

Title Insurance Company Assistance

For more complex title issues, you may need to get your title insurance company involved (that is, if you purchased title insurance). Title insurance covers certain title defects and is purchased for this exact reason. Keep in mind, though, that they will require some time to evaluate the issue and work towards a cure. Depending on the exact problem, you may need to request a closing extension. Be honest with the buyer about how much time it could take to resolve. In some cases, a buyer may decide not to wait beyond the time allowed in the purchase contract. In that case, you will need to delay your selling plans.

Quiet Title Action

Sometimes, resolving property title issues in MA is not possible through conventional methods. When all else fails, a quiet title case may be brought up in court. These cases are often complex and require several months to resolve. If the issue involves missing heirs or unknown parties, the courts will give the public an opportunity to contest the case before making judgement. Given the lengthy process, it can be quite expensive. Obviously, it’s usually the last resort for a homeowner who needs clear title to sell their home.

If you need help with resolving property title issues in MA, give us a call for a free preliminary consultation. As experienced Massachusetts real estate attorneys, we can help!