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How Passage of Title Works in Georgia

By Tiffany Raiford

Passage of title is one of the most important and pertinent aspects of buying and selling a property in Georgia and the rest of the country. In easily understood terms, the passage of title is the signing over of the title of a piece of property from one person to another. The title dictates ownership. When a home or property sells, the title is the legal entity that states that ownership has been transferred.

The Importance of Passage of Title

What makes the passage of title in Georgia so important is the fact that no sale is legal without it. If you enter into an agreement to purchase real property without a passage of title, the State of Georgia does not recognize you as the legal owner, meaning you have no rights to the property. Without being considered the legal owner of a property, you are not entitled to make any changes to the property that includes applying for a permit or making a legal sale.

How Passage of Title Works

In Georgia, the passage of title process is actually fairly simple. When you enter into a contract to buy or sell a property, your real estate attorney and title company will work on the passage for you. Essentially, you do nothing but sign the paperwork at closing. Behind the scenes, however, the title of the property is searched. This means that the title company looks at the title to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property, that there are no issues with the title and that everything is in order. Once this is confirmed, the title is signed at closing and transferred to the new owner.

Title Issues

While the passage of title is a fairly simple process that doesn't require much of anything from the buyer or seller, there are sometimes problems with a title. For example, if the name on the title includes an ex-spouse of the current owner, the title must be signed by both parties. This could cause problems with the passage, as one party might not want to sign without benefiting financially. Additionally, a clear title means that the property cannot have any debts filed against it, such as government liens. A clear title will not have any of these issues. However, if the title of a property is not clear, it could delay the process of the sale of the property.

In a typical Georgia sale, there is no cause for concern about the passage of title. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. To protect yourself, enlist the help of a real estate attorney whose job is to ensure that your best interests are always in consideration during the sale or purchase of your property. Should an issue arise during the title search, your attorney can help to clear it up without any confusion on your part.

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