How To Get a Property Title For Land in North Carolina, Complications – A YouTube Request

Email Eric Andrews with your questions. We will be happy to answer any YouTube requests you have. In this YouTube video, Eric explains several types of deeds, including Commissioners Deeds, Special Warranty Deeds, General Warranty Deeds, and Quick Claim deeds.

Speaker 1:           Okay. We have a request from YouTube.

Speaker 2:           A request from YouTube, my first.

Speaker 1:           From Miranda. And she wants to know if you could explain how to get a title to your property and title insurance.

Speaker 2:           So the most traditional way to do that is when you buy a property, the attorney’s going to do a title search. They’re going to go back through several layers of transferring of the property, and they’re going to make sure that their property was conveyed properly from one person to another. Where we have difficulties is if someone passes and sometimes the property transfers without a deed. And so those are missing links in the chain of title. I’ve recently had an issue with a client, where their family had owned the property for over 200 years, in Chatham County, over 200 years. And I’m like, “Man, that’s great. That’s good title.” And unfortunately, when we got to the closing table, the attorney said, “Chain in a title is many links. You have one link, that’s not good.” So we had to do a clear title action. The owners of the property had to make sure that they owned it.

We had to give historical research, we had to give deed research, we had to give will research, family lineage research. And a judge had to say, “You’re the one who owns this property.” With this particular person, I’ve helped this person, the YouTube request several times, they actually had to do what was known as a petition for partition. They had to go to the courts, and say, “Look, we own this 100 acres, the three heirs, and we need to divide it. And so you would think that would be a third, a third, a third, but not all thirds are equal. One might have a house on it, a barn, a stream, road frontage or whatever. So they go to experts, usually an appraisal, usually a local real estate person, maybe an attorney, and the courts hire these commissioner of the courts to decide how the property is going to be broken up. And the way it’s broken up then, those are they’re given. And in some places, that might be called a commissioner’s deed.

Then we have a special warranty deed, and then we have a general warranty deed. Well, the best deed is the general warranty deed. That somebody said, “I certify it.” Clearly, these people own it, and now they’re conveying it to you. General warranty deed. A special warranty deed says, “Hey, we think we own it, and we’re giving it to you, but we haven’t done all the research.” And that normally happens if someone gets the property via a foreclosure. So if you buy a foreclosure property or an REO property from a bank, you’re going to get a special warranty deed. And then the other type of deed, since our YouTube caller asked, we have a quitclaim deed, and a lot of people get this confused for whatever, but a quitclaim deed is just, “I renounce my rights to your property. It doesn’t mean that I had any rights. It’s just saying that if anyone thinks or thought that I had any rights to this property whatsoever, I hereby renounce them.”

This is important if someone had a divorce, and it wasn’t clearly decided of who got the property. The attorney might request that that ex-spouse do a quitclaim deed. So I had marital rights to the property, we got divorced, well, now I completely renounced those rights and I am signing a quitclaim deed. But a lot of people think that a quitclaim deed gives them clear title. It does not. I, in fact, can sign a quitclaim deed to your property right now, I didn’t have any rights. We could go and record that. It doesn’t mean that anything. So all sorts of deeds or whatever. Our YouTube caller request has been through a difficult situation. Family heir situations are always difficult. I think they say in their email that they’re having problems with each other trespassing over each other’s property or whatever, but if they want to get good title insurance, they can have an attorney do a title search. And if the title insurance company feels as though everything’s good with it, they’ll ensure over it. And that way, you have a good title and good title insurance.