Michigan Title Search

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

What is a Property Title Search?

Finding your dream home in Michigan can be extremely exciting. And it may be the single most important investment of your lifetime. So, despite being eager to take the plunge, you will first want to follow some important steps to ensure the soundness and security of your investment. Conducting a property title search will be paramount to a successful purchase, and it is best to do it at the onset of the transaction so that you are armed with all of the relevant information pertaining to your property in moving forward. 

A property title search, first and foremost, will verify the seller’s legal ownership of the property, assuring you of his or her right to sell it to you. It will also disclose any encumbrances on the property which may influence your decision to purchase the property or on how you may choose to sell it in the future. Such encumbrances can portend a longer purchase process than you might be anticipating, and being in the know on all things property-related will ensure that you make the right decision.

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Why is it Important to Perform a Michigan Property Title Search?

There are a number of reasons you will want to perform a property title search on your prospective Michigan home. Most importantly, you will need to know that the seller has the legal right to the property that has piqued your interest. Beyond that, a title search will delve into the public records available for that particular property and disclose any criteria that will be instrumental in your making a sound decision.

These criteria might include errors or defects in the chain of title, easements, deed restrictions, as well as any outstanding debts or liens on the property. Some of these issues may be easily resolved upon discovery, but others could complicate and delay, or even prevent your purchase. 

What are Easements and Deed Restrictions?

That’s a great question. An easement is an arrangement put in place by a previous owner which grants access to an outside party to a piece or part of the land for a specific purpose and a specific amount of time. Examples of easements include allowing utility companies access to the property’s plumbing, sewage lines, electrical wiring, or granting an individual the right to access and use an inland lake.

Easement law is elaborate and worthy of scrutiny if you find yourself in a position where there are easements in place. There are multiple types of easements in Michigan. For example, a prescriptive easement occurs when someone uses the land of another for a period of over 15 years. (1)  

Deed restrictions, on the other hand, are documents that are tied to properties that can detail a variety of provisions that limit how the property is transferred or used. They can limit, for example, the type of fence you can build or whether or not you can erect a sign on your property. A deed restriction might also prohibit your ability to run a business out of your home, or whether you can own pets.

While both deed restrictions and easements can commonly be addressed and resolved, either could also end up being inconvenient and expensive. Potential disputes might deter a prospective buyer from moving forward if a deed restriction appears particularly contentious straight out of the gates. A property title search will aid you in avoiding such obstacles as you proceed with negotiations. 

Are Michigan Property Records Public?

Yes, they are! The title search is conducted by accessing the information related to that particular property via public records. You need only locate your Michigan county’s register of deeds and search the recorded property information. All documents recorded with the register of deeds are available to the public. It is your legal right to investigate the history of your potential new property. 

Bear in mind that the title and deed are two different things, though they are often mistakenly thought to be one in the same. While the title indicates ownership of a property, a deed is only awarded to an individual after all outstanding debts, such as a mortgage, are paid in full.  It becomes a public document in Michigan when it is recorded with the Recorder of Deeds subsequent to delivery and acceptance.   

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

Who Completes the Title Search in Michigan?

While it is within the prospective buyer’s rights to perform the real estate title search independently, it is not recommended. Depending on the age and condition of the property, the documented history can be dense and complicated, leading to a lot of confusing legal jargon and an overwhelmed novice buyer. Ultimately, the decision will be made by you.  If you choose to delegate the search to a professional title search company, it might take the burden off of you so that you can negotiate other aspects of the sale with ease. A company such as Title Search Direct will decipher the property records for you, delivering a succinct, thorough, and easily digestible report within a short amount of time. 

In Michigan, sellers typically pay for the title and closing service fees. 

How Much Does a Title Search Cost?

The cost for a real estate title search will vary, depending on the depth and scope of the search. Just as every Michigan property is different and unique, so is the time involved in studying the public records that detail its history. When looking into an older home, for example, there will more likely be a more elaborate chain of ownership, and there may be more issues attached to the property that gives the potential owner pause. 

Examples of things that could turn up in a title search are hidden debts or potential heirs to said property which could complicate ownership of the land, even after the purchase has been completed. A deep dive into details such as potential heirs, wills, or trusts will invariably involve more time and resources, resulting in a higher price point.   

That said, with Title Search Direct, you can begin your Michigan property title search for as little as $35. Barring any bank holidays, we can complete and deliver a thorough property title search report to you within eight to fourteen business days. Please bear in mind that buying during peak homebuying season might affect the time frame.

Get Started with Title Search Direct

If you are bursting at the seams to get going with your property purchase, you need only turn to Title Search Direct. Our professional team has got you covered. As the nation’s top title search provider, we have been helping Americans achieve their property dreams for over 25 years. No job is too big or too small. We provide fast, reliable service and will leave no stone unturned in your Michigan property title search. 

It could not be any easier to initiate the search. Simply use our online search service, and help is just a few clicks away. Our eager team of seasoned professionals is standing by to get you equipped with all of the necessary information for a successful real estate purchase.

  1. Northern Michigan Property Law, Prescriptive Easements in Michigan https://www.northernmichiganpropertylaw.com/blog/2018/1/8/prescriptive-easements

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