DEFINITION of 'Title Search'

An examination of public records to determine and confirm a property's legal ownership, and find out what claims are on the property. A title search is usually performed by a title company or an attorney, who researches the vested owner, the liens or other judgments on the property, the loans on the property and the property taxes due.

BREAKING DOWN 'Title Search'

Before you close a deal on the purchase of a home, a title company will search public records on the property's ownership. Once the search is finished, you'll receive a preliminary title report. If there are any issues or problems with the title, you can point them out to the seller. Some problems are easily cleared up while others may take so long that they jeopardize your loan commitment.

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