Definition of "Affidavit of Title"

Danny  Michael real estate agent

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HomeSmart

Sometimes, a perplexing legal term (a genuine headscratcher) emerges when buying or selling a property. You know you should know it, but its precise definition escapes you. Today's special is: "What is an affidavit of title?" 

Generally, an affidavit is a written statement or declaration made under oath before a licensed individual, such as a notary public or even a Judge. You've probably heard the term on police and legal courtroom TV shows. In other terms, it's a legal testimony the person swears by as the truth.

What does affidavit mean in real estate?

In real estate, an affidavit of title refers to a written statement made by the home seller. They testify to the “health” status of the property title. It is usually a request by title companies to issue title insurance. So, what is a real estate affidavit?

In the affidavit of title, the home seller states that the property is theirs to sell and that they aren’t selling to anyone else. Furthermore, they disclose any potential legal issues (like a financially harmful lien) the property might be facing. The affidavit of title should also address any bankruptcy proceedings the home seller might be going through, which could hold the house as a collateral asset.

The notarized legal declaration protects new homeowners against future troubles.

The affidavit of title is intended to provide a safety net for the home buyer in case of any legal issues facing the seller and/or the house later on. It is produced during closing and can be one to five pages, depending on the number of encumbrances on the property.

Exclusions as established by the seller

Exclusions are an essential part of an affidavit of title. For instance, a home seller might state that some owed mortgage is still attached to the title, and they will pay it after closing. With this information, the home buyer can make an informed decision. Undeniably, it can be a double-edged sword. They can disregard it or assert that they will only proceed with the sale if the issue is resolved beforehand. This understanding empowers the home buyer in the transaction. 

Expert help in time can save you from many troubles!

We advise you to seek an expert's assistance! It's crucial to ask for an "affidavit of title real estate" if you purchase a home as is or embark on owner financing. In both cases, the seller might feel in a pole position and could disregard mentioning certain legal troubles or property-related issues, such as roof disrepair.  

First and foremost, we recommend a thorough house inspection from top to bottom to spot red flags. Suppose you need clarification on certain aspects of the home-buying process. In that case, members of the real estate agents directory can assist you! The platform has successfully connected parties in a real estate transaction with the most experienced and reliable agents for over twenty years!

Key takeaways

A notary validates an affidavit of title. The legal document supplied by the seller of a piece of property testifies to the property's status and specific facts, such as ownership and legal concerns. An affidavit of title is intended to safeguard the property's buyer, who may be liable for pending legal problems with the home. If there is a lien (right to dispose of property) on the property, the seller may choose to satisfy the lien requirements to have the title reissued and "cleaned."

Final thoughts

In some jurisdictions, an Affidavit of title is not just a formality. It's a mandatory requirement for the transfer of title to happen. This is an essential detail for home buyers and real estate professionals to be aware of, as it can enormously influence the transaction process.

Real Estate Tip:

Have you got a lot of questions to ask? Maybe your doubts are shared by many others; access our real estate questions page and find out!

Comments for Affidavit Of Title

Lucie Lucie said:

Hi, my husband just recently passed away. Both our names are on my house we own. I would like the house to be transferred (title) under my name now. He left a will stating I am the sole beneficiary of all property etc... Is an affidavit of title the best way to deal with this? Thank you for your direction.

Dec 22, 2020  14:37:12

 
Real Estate Agent

Hey, Lucie! 

We are sorry for your loss. If there is a transfer on death deed in place, the process is fairly simple, and title transfer happens relatively quick. Since you haven’t mentioned anything about it, it may be a more lengthy and complicated process. 

Even though you are the sole beneficiary of all property, according to the will, the property must go through probate. The probate process can be time-consuming and expensive, which is why you might want to transfer property by other means to avoid probate court. An affidavit of title is a legal document that acts as proof that the seller is, in fact, the property owner and attests that other facts about the property are correct. Not sure in which way it might help you.

We suggest you get in touch with a real estate attorney who can help you find other methods to transfer the property to your name and avoid probate. Good luck with the title transfer, and hopefully, everything goes well!

Dec 24, 2020  09:18:21
 
 
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