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The Importance of Current Title Reports in Land Transactions 

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Current title reports play a crucial role in land transactions as they provide valuable information about the ownership, legal status, and any encumbrances of a property. One of the driving forces behind current title reports and verifying their information is the need for a survey to be current, allowing the client to have the information necessary to make informed decisions.

When a current title report is prepared, the land survey is one of the documents that is reviewed to ensure that the property is accurately described and there are no issues with the property boundaries or encroachments that could affect the title. If any issues are identified, they will be noted in the title report and may need to be resolved before the property transaction. Here is what you need to know to best prepare when dealing with a land transaction.

Varying Title Requirements for Different Types of Land Transactions 

The importance of the title report is that it associates an ownership entity with a piece of land. There is not one set of standards when dealing with land transactions, which makes it even more important that buyers understand what is required and what is beneficial for the property in question.

Under the ALTA (American Land Title Association) standards, a title report is mandatory when an ALTA survey is performed. The title report must also be completed within 60 days of the submittal, so this timeline helps streamline the process. The ALTA Survey is commonly used in commercial real estate transactions and may be required by buyers, sellers, lenders, and title insurance companies. This ensures that the property involved in the transaction is understood by all parties and described to meet the requirements of the transaction.

One type of land description of property that deals with current land transactions are plats. When recording a plat, cities or counties in Kansas and Missouri may require a title report to confirm the owner of the land in question, and that the owner has specified rights. If an area of land has never been platted, then the description of land will either refer to sections or aliquot parts, or a metes and bounds description. The most common requirement by the city or county of a proposed subdivision is to plat the subject land.

Title reports range in complexity depending on the transfer of ownership to diverse types of entities. Simple title reports list ownership, whereas complex title reports include more detailed information such as mortgages that occurred, lending, and how the ownership was determined for complex entities.

The Aspiria campus, for example, required a complex title report due to the transfer of ownership type and previous associations with the site. The area was previously established as the Sprint World Headquarters, operating as the T-Mobile campus after their merger in 2020. When the property was later purchased by Occidental Management, they announced the transition of the official name as Aspiria as of January 1, 2021. Because of this title transfer by Occidental Management, the currency of the title report played a huge role in the transfer of ownership.

Rendering of Future Aspiria Developments

Land transactions with current title reports and a boundary survey serve as evidence to those involved in the transaction. Finalizing a land transaction on the basis that a survey has been performed and the parties of the transaction have all the information necessary confirms due diligence actions taken by the parties.

Inevitable Complications from Title Report Errors 

When speaking to surveyors, one of the biggest mistakes new property owners can make is disregarding the importance of land surveys when completing a land transaction. In cases where new landowners are not required to perform a boundary survey, they often refrain from having one performed due to cost. The advantages of a survey outweigh the costs associated with boundary errors. Uncovering concerning information about a property is the last thing a new owner wants. Current land titles along with boundary surveys can lay those concerns to rest and reduce cost over the term of ownership.

Are there existing easements? Existing easements can affect the use and development potential of the property and can impact the buyer’s investment. Without looking at the whole title, you may not know all the factors that are impacting your land. Being concerned with only the four corners of a property rather than looking into the invisible aspects can be unknowingly negligent. Consulting with a land surveyor experienced in land transactions can quickly add value to your project.

The currency of land title reports is crucial, especially in commercial work because these invisible aspects cannot be revealed until it has been submitted. Land surveyors make a note of the currency of the land survey. This is in case new easements are brought to attention, the land survey time and date stamp can compare against that of the easement or other legal disputes that surface.

A current title report is an essential part of any land transaction as it provides valuable information about the legal ownership, encumbrances, and legal status of the property. It helps to ensure that the transfer of ownership is legally valid and that both the buyer and the seller are fully informed about the property they are transacting.

Understanding ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys
Understanding ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys

By using a Professional Land Surveyor, the conducted service will remain in accordance with codes and regulations pertaining to city, county, state, and federal entities. The scope of work is also done under the highest standard of ethics upheld by the surveying industry.

When you select BHC to perform a survey, our team of experts recognizes the importance of getting the deal done right for our clients. Holding the largest land records catalog in Eastern Kansas and our commitment to innovation and using cutting-edge technology, such as high-quality UAV technology, 3D imaging, and precision scanning offers our clients deliverables that streamline your development.

We are prepared to help you make the most out of your land with our ‘No Problem’ customer service pledge. Get connected with one of our experts to learn how we can help you champion your next project.

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