North Carolina has both title companies and real estate attorneys who process title search requests. Depending on the area, the request may only be handled by one or the other. Title searches reveal important information such as current liens recorded against the property and property tax information. A title search can be upgraded to a title insurance policy later through the same company if needed to complete a real estate sale.
Find previous title work. If you have access to title work done previously on the property, it will help any company completing the new search on the property. To find local title companies or attorneys in your area contact a trusted bank or credit union for a list of suggestions.
Contact prospective title companies or attorneys and ask what the cost of a title search will be and what information will be included in a search. A typical search at the minimum should have all liens disclosed and property tax information verifying if the taxes are current or past due. More advanced searches may include chain of ownership and flood zone determinations. Ask for time frame for completion.
Order the title search with the company you are most comfortable with. The title company will need property address information to complete a search. Each situation is different and a legal description of the property may be required.
Review the search. Verify the search is for the property you requested. The legal descriptions should match. Contact the title company with any questions or concerns regarding the search.
A title search is not the same as title insurance. The search may not be responsible or have limited liability for any errors on the search resulting in a loss.