One part of the process of selling a home is a title search. Sometimes, unbeknownst to either party, there is a “cloud” on the title that is unearthed in a title search. When this happens, it may be necessary to pursue a quiet title action before the property can be sold.
What is a ‘cloud’ on a title?
Sometimes parties other than the seller have an ownership interest in the property. This is known as a “cloud” on the title. For example, there may be a bank lien on the property or a tax lien on the property. Sometimes there is a claim of adverse possession, in which another party claims they own the property. Abandonment of property for a long period of time could also cloud the title. Other times a title is too vague. These outside interests must be settled before the property can be sold. To do so, a quiet title action must be filed.
What is a quiet title action?
A quiet title action is a lawsuit filed to clear title to a property so it can be sold free of ambiguities. Quiet title actions also clarify legal ownership of the property. After the quiet title action is complete, the person who brought the action has full possession of the property and is protected from any more outside claims of ownership. Thus, they are free to sell the property. It is important to note that if property is sold via a quitclaim deed, there is no guarantee that the title is clear.
Learn more about quiet title actions
A title search can unearth a cloud on the title. This cloud can be removed via a quiet title action. If you want to sell property with a cloud on the title, you will want to learn more about your rights and options under real estate law so you can make decisions that are in your best interests.