Well if your getting a loan you will have no choice but to pay for title insurance and the seller will have to pay for the abstract to be brought up to date. This means the lender wants to know if the title is indeed marketable, by knowing before hand if the property has any liens or clouds in the title. Clouds in the title means if someone has an interest in the property or if someone could have interest in the title. By hiring a title inspector to go down to the county clerks office and look over all of the recorded sale documents that are filed. Not all records pertaining to a property may be filed in the public record. It is not law in Oklahoma that filing an interest to a property is required. But, by investigating what is on file will determine what can or can not be a scenario of someone related to or unrelated to the seller that could hold an interest in that property. If after all of the title investigations determine the title marketable and if later after the sale is closed that someone comes forward with a written interest in the property than title insurance will investigate the situation and/or pay the person if their interest is indeed proven to be accurate to go away.
This type of choice is written into the Oklahoma Residential Purchase Contract and is used when a lender is involved.
However, There are two other choices that buyers and sellers can choose from when paying cash for a property.
A title opinion by an Attorney of Law is when the abstract is brought up to date and investigated. A Real Estate Attorney will investigate the findings and approve or disapprove the marketability of the title. But, title insurance isn’t paid for and if anyone came forward to claim and interest in the property after closing, the decree of the General Warranty Deed will kick in. This deed is warranted by the seller that she/he will pay to fix any clouds or claims to the title after transfer of deed to buyer.
I run into buyers who want to pay cash for a property and the seller doesn’t have a mortgage on the property and probably had paid cash when they bought the property. A simple and low cost method to transfer title is a “title report.” An order is sent out to an abstracter in the county to gather the necessary information to find liens or claims to title and put into a simple one page report. Many title companies who are in a buyers interest discourage this type of closing, because what if someone comes forward and what if a fraudulent claim was initiated. Again a General Warranty Deed by a seller says that the seller will pay to fix any claims to the property after closing.
Many real estate companies have a form or should have a non-liability form attached to the sale for buyers to sign if a “title report” is chosen.