How to get an Abstract of Title

abstract of title

What is an Abstract of Title

An abstract title is a record that summarizes all documents and proceedings for a specific property. It’s a written chronology of various activities that affect the ownership of a parcel of land. For example, it shows the names of past owners, how long proprietors held each title, and the price paid for the property.

An abstract of title is essentially a summary of all the past changes in ownerships and details, including mortgages and bank loans. You may have the abstract of identification as a homeowner—potentially a thick stack of paperwork—stored in a file cabinet somewhere. Nonetheless, it’s not necessarily a report you’ll have in your hands when calculating closing costs in South Carolina although it will be of great use for your insurance company.

In the world of real estate, this summary is a crucial piece of information. The abstract is used to collaborate on a property’s marketability and its heritage. In addition, it offers assurance that the property is what the seller represents, both in accuracy and integrity.

Definition of Abstract of Title

This document provides an inside eye of past transactions to any purchaser or investor. Examining this document includes much information about buildings or parcels, revealing potential risks associated with the title. In addition, it looks at whether the property is free and clear and no other person or business is interested or will claim the property.

Errors in a property title can result in sufficient monetary damages. Understanding the status of a property and combining title insurance to protect your investment are two key actions to protect yourself against any potential threat. It’sIt’s essential to gain the most knowledge on your property. You never know what could ultimately impact your purchase.

A seller could be asked to produce an abstract to uncover any challenges to homeownership. The abstract title provides a comprehensive summary of all significant transactions and legal issues, including mortgage and property taxes liens, utility access rights, pertinent wills, lawsuits, or tax sales.

It also monitors surveys, including any encroachments, such as fences over the boundary and other possible conflicts. Given improved technology, surveys delimit the exact boundaries of a piece of land and its surroundings. It may also include a list of restrictions, conditions, and historical rules.


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Abstract of title vs. deed

In the legal glossary, you might have heard the terms dead and title and quite frequently.

One common mistake countless people make is using the term “deed” and “title” interchangeably. While they are closely correlated, they have different meanings and functions.

A deed represents a legal document, signed and delivered, to transfer the ownership of a property to another person. A deed is a physical document to confirm or convey the rights to a new owner when you sell your home. The property deed includes a property description and identifies both the seller and buyer for a particular transaction. The document is stamped, signed by the grantor, and attested in the presence of witnesses.

On the other hand, an abstract title implies a summary of legal rights regarding ownership and possession of a property. It entitles the proof that someone possesses a particular asset lawfully or has the legal right to use, control or dispose of an investment, in whatever manner he sees fit. Thus, while a deed is always in writing, a title is abstract.

These two terms are so closely intertwined that the difference between both is very subtle. However, they are not the same thing. While a title showcases the ownership over a particular piece of land, a deed is formally executed and nothing but a means to property interest transfer.


Abstract of title vs. warranty deed

The world of real estate has an extensive list of vocabulary, which may leave the average homeowner confused.

Warranty deeds are exactly what they sound like. A warranty deed is the most familiar instrument to convey title or legal ownership to a different party. The owner of a property title sells the deed to a buyer with a warranty feed written up as a buyer assurance. Suppose there are any discrepancies in the property’s ownership, the seller warrants to do the necessary to make good on his obligations. Warranty deeds provide buyers with the most protection; it’s often combined with title insurance.

Warranty deeds are legalized documents put together by an attorney. They imply certain warranties that the seller must provide and adhere to. The essence is to promise a title free of encumbrances, proof of title, and valid legal title at closing. It also entails that you’re not aware of any unforeseen circumstances that might come up for the entire life of the property.

In contrast, the abstract title isn’t an actual document. Instead, it’s essentially a chronological history of ownership. Each time an owner uses a deed to transfer ownership, the transaction becomes a part of the chain title.



Sources (May 22nd, 2019). The Abstract of Title in Real Estate: What Is It?

Erika at Abstract of Title: 11 Things You Need to Know in 2021

Contact the Cain Mortgage Team to get any of your Abstract of Title questions answered.