Have a Cloudy Title? What Info Does it Help to Have to Sort it Out and Sell to an Investor? 

Have a Cloudy Title? What Info Does it Help to Have to Sort it Out and Sell to an Investor?

Hi, I’m Beth with TB Properties Buys Land. Today we’re going to discuss inherited properties and a few things to have on hand when you’re ready to talk to a land investor about selling your property directly to them.

One of the things that we specialize in at TB Properties Buys Land is purchasing inherited property from people who have chain of title issues. A reason people reach out to us is that clearing a cloud in the chain of title can often be very expensive and time-consuming in order to sell it and not all real estate investors are knowledgeable or willing to work with these tough cases. If the property that you own has been passed down generation after generation, and if there are multiple heirs, and it’s not really clear how the chain title is passed down, it can be really cumbersome to navigate that.

Working with a realtor, they’re not going to want to list your property unless you have clear title to the property. What does that mean? That means that you’re going to have to spend what could amount to thousands of dollars with an attorney to get that taken care of. That may possibly require you to pay for a survey and for the title search that needs to be done. That’s why we tend to work with people who have these heirship issues, because we’re able to pay for the attorney fees and the expensive survey costs as we purchase the property from them and move forward that way since they can’t work with a realtor.

It happens that right now we’re working with a couple difficult cases. In one, the county doesn’t even appear to know where the property is located. The landowners know where their property is because they’ve been out there as kids and that sort of thing, but we’re really struggling right now in just trying to get a quote on a survey. The history of how this property was passed down and “cut up” into the parcel it is today is so complicated and unclear that several surveyors are not wanting to get into doing the research in order to provide us a quote. Some of these inherited properties can actually be that complicated!

With this in mind, there are a couple of things that can help us if you have a property that’s got a bit of a complicated background. If you have any past deed information on your property, that is extremely helpful. Or a survey is even better. Even it’s an old, old survey or it’s an old plat of the property, no matter how old it is, even if we may still have to pay for a new one, but that can be helpful with the title company or even with the new surveyor in trying to get that taken care of. It could speed up the process for you. It could also make the process a little bit more affordable, so we’re able to offer you a little bit more money on your property versus us paying for a very expensive survey.

Again, if you have old deeds to the property, maybe it was from a grandparent and it was passed down from the great-grandparent… If you’ve got any of those deeds, any deeds that you’ve got, any history of the property, any paperwork whatsoever, would be super. The assessor’s paperwork isn’t super helpful because we can already find that online and that does not legally tell us who the property owner is from their paperwork. The deed information however, or the survey information, plat information, all of that can be really helpful.

In addition to any old paperwork you might have, if your property is passed down from multiple generations, having an idea of how it was passed down is very helpful too. Writing down this information for yourself to keep it straight is great.

For example: this was my great-grandfather’s property. He had the deed to it. Here’s a copy of the deed. He was married to so-and-so. They had 12 children. And here’s a list of the children and their grandchildren. And of all of these heirs that I’ve marked down, these are deceased and the rest are alive and still heirs to the property, and this sort of thing.

Keep in mind that if this property was left to somebody and they’ve had children, everybody, all their children and their children’s children and so forth… all of them may have a right to the property, even if you’ve been paying property taxes on it for five, 10 years.

With this said, every state and county is different and they may have different laws about inherited property, so we have to go by that. However, in the most difficult circumstances, we will need this sort of information in order to relay that to the title company, the attorney and to the surveyor to try to make sure that chain of title is cleared so that we can purchase the property from you. We don’t do any kind of shady stuff here at TB Properties Buys Land which is why we provide you with a really simple purchase agreement. Within it we specifically state that we offer to pay all the closing costs, which include those attorney fees and the survey costs. But more importantly when it comes to keeping you safe, we always close with a title company. One, they can help with the chain of title issues, but two, we just know that it’s a safer transaction for you as the seller and we as the buyer.

Please be warned that sometimes when you’ve got these really cloudy titles, it might take a little bit longer. We’re dealing with that right now. It’s really complicated. Thankfully, the seller has a lot of this information. Now we’re just trying to find a surveyor who’s willing to put the time in to quoting it and move forward. Fortunately, I think we’re going to be able to get there and be able to help them out to be able to sell their property that seemed unsellable just earlier.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. Hopefully this will help you when it comes to working with us, and you’ve got one of those really complicated inherited properties.

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