Clear Title in Real Estate

Real estate term of the day:  Titles1

What is clear title in real estate?

Clear title means the property’s title is free of any liens, judgments, or legal questions as to ownership.

Who provides clear title?

It is the seller’s responsibility to provide clear title to the buyer.  However, it is up to the buyer to ensure the title is clear.  This is done through a title search before closing and transferring of the deed.

What is the difference between clear title and marketable title?

Clear title ensures there are no encumbrances on the property AND that the seller is able to transfer ownership.  Marketable title only ensures the seller can transfer ownership – it does not mean the home is free from liens or judgments.  Marketable title has the potential to cause future problems for a new owner.  Before closing, it’s important to find a reputable company (like Lytle Title in Newport News) to fun a title search and warrant clear title.  Title insurance is also extremely imperative to protect yourself against any claims – see my recent post Home Protection for more information!

Hampton Roads Real-e-statement is written by Alyssa Godwin, a Realtor with Liz Moore and Associates.  For more questions about how clear title affects you, contact Alyssa at 757-329-6161 or  You can also find Alyssa on Facebook or on the web at