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Estate /

Can you sell property with a defective title?

| Jan 21, 2021 | Real Estate

When buying or selling real estate in New York City, one of the tasks that must be completed is a title search. A title search is important because it can uncover any title defects that must be cured before the property can be sold.

What is a title defect?

A title defect is an impairment on the title of the property that prevents it from being sold. This defect may be a tax lien, mortgage or judgment. If a third party has an estate right or interest in the property, this could also cloud the title. In addition, the improper filing of real estate documents, inconsistent wording in the title, misworded property definitions and missing signatures could all lead to a title defect.

What happens if I try to sell property with a defective title?

Since another party has a claim to the property with the defective title, the property cannot be legally sold until the defect is cured. If a property owner attempts to sell real estate with a defective title, they may be sued for damages. They could even lose title to the property altogether. The property owner has to take care of the outstanding obligations on the title in order to complete the sale. A title search can identify the true owner of the property. The property holder can also pursue a quiet title action to have the court identify the true owner of the title to the property.

Learn more about real estate law in New York City

This post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. It should not form the basis of any legal action or filing. Those who have further questions about title issues in New York City can visit our website for more information.


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