Massachusetts Property Title Search

Use this page to find information specific to property title searches in Massachusetts. When you’re ready, fill out our easy-to-use order form and your title search will be on its way.

What is a Massachusetts Title Search?

While you pursue your search for a property in the state of Massachusetts, one important step in your journey is understanding the definition of property titles and property title searches. To put it simply, a property title is a document that proves legal ownership for a particular property, and a property title search– also known as a real estate title search– is a report made up of information that has been gathered from public records pertaining to a property that confirms the legal ownership of that property.

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What is the Difference Between a Deed and a Title?

People regularly make the common mistake of using the terms deed and title interchangeably, but they are two very different documents. A deed is a document awarded to a property owner after any debts against a property, such as a mortgage, have been paid in full. It names the owner of the property. A title, on the other hand, is a legal document that contains detailed information regarding a specific property in addition to any claims or liens that have been placed on it. The title is representative of the rights and ownership that the property owner has over the property.

For more information regarding titles and deeds, visit our FAQ page.

What Are the Benefits of a Massachusetts Property Title Search?

In advance of making any Massachusetts real estate purchase, you’ll want to perform a property title search for a number of reasons. First and foremost, a property title search will help you ensure that the real estate purchase you’re making is a secure investment. It is at this point that you’ll have the opportunity to learn about any potential issues regarding the property in question and you’ll be able to make decisions accordingly.

Property title searches are also essential when it comes to discovering any hidden debts, liens, easements, or deed restrictions that may be tied to the property you’re aiming to purchase. Any and all of these factors can greatly impact your choice to buy the property, how you’ll use it, and what you can expect when it’s time to sell it in the future. Furthermore, the property title search will officially verify the authenticity of the owner’s legal right to sell you the property.

Expose Hidden Issues

While it may sound ominous, there are actually a handful of common issues that turn up during a property title search that can be resolved relatively easily. Some examples include previously unknown co-owners, mismatched names, or outstanding liens against a property. Once you know about these problems, you can take steps to resolve them, but if they’re left unaddressed, they can hold up or halt the sale altogether. There are also issues that may be harder to solve and can prevent the sale of the property, such as unpaid taxes, debts, or bankruptcies. 

Reveal Deed Restrictions and Easements

Your Massachusetts property title search will bring to light any deed restrictions that can limit how you are able to use your property. (1) These types of restrictions are varied, and examples include running a business out of your home, obstructing a neighbor’s view, or building a fence. It’s vital that you understand these restrictions in advance of purchasing any property.

In addition to revealing any deed restrictions, a property title search will reveal any easements on the property. An easement is a scenario in which another party has the right to utilize a piece of your land. There are a multitude of situations that can lead to an easement. For example, a neighbor may need to use a driveway or a road on your property to access their own. There’s no doubt you’ll want to know if anyone else has the right to use your land before you purchase a property in Massachusetts.

Discover the Purchase History

Your Massachusetts property title search will reveal more than just issues with a property. It also gives you the chance to learn about the history of the property. You’ll learn about the history of ownership, events that have transpired on the property, and any other key information contained in public records.

Are Massachusetts Property Records Public Information?

The short answer is yes. In response to the Freedom of Information act, Massachusetts considers property records public information because they are documents used by government facilities for the purpose of calculating property taxes.

While these records are available to the public, they likely will not contain much detail in order to prevent revealing personal or private information pertaining to past property owners. Additional documents, like trusts and wills, are also generally available to the public, though more detailed documents like these typically need to be specifically requested from the county records office.

Can I Check My Massachusetts Home Title?

Property owners in the state of Massachusetts can certainly check their home titles to learn more information regarding their property. You can usually access your title through the registry of deeds office in the county in which the property is located. Also, it’s important to remember that if you’re still paying your mortgage, there will not yet be a deed, but you will still be able to find your record of ownership. 

Alternatively, you can seek the help of a professional property title search provider, like Title Search Direct, to assist you in finding information regarding your property’s title. Oftentimes this is easier and preferable for those who do not have the time or experience to perform a title search on their own.

How Long Does a Title Search Take?

Every Massachusetts property title search is different, so it’s impossible to say exactly how long you can expect one to take. However, the majority of Massachusetts property title searches performed by Title Search Direct are completed within eight to fourteen business days, barring any bank holidays. This window may be longer during the peak homebuying season.

It’s helpful to consider the age of the property when you’re thinking about how long it might take to receive your completed property title search. An older property with a decades-long history will likely have more documentation to sift through, so it will take longer to perform a thorough search. Conversely, newer properties or properties with simple histories will take far less time. 

The type of search being performed also impacts how long the search takes to complete. If you’ve requested a full search that includes trusts, wills, and a search for heirs, it will take longer to collate all of the necessary information.

Get Started with Title Search Direct

Once you’ve found a property that checks all of the boxes on your wishlist, it’s time to perform your property title search, and Title Search Direct is ready to provide you with fast, easy, and reliable service. Title Search Direct is the country’s top provider of title searches, and real estate is our passion.

For 25 years, Title Search Direct has provided people with all of the information they need to make informed real estate decisions. Title Search Direct understands the property title search process in Massachusetts like none other. 

It couldn’t be easier to initiate your Massachusetts property title search. Simply use our online search service, and in just a few clicks our team will be hard at work retrieving the public record information you need to move forward with your real estate purchase.

  1. Amy Pawlukiewicz, Demystifying Property Title Search: Your Questions, Answered

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