As with all of our clients, when we take a listing, we thoroughly investigate the property to make sure that there are no issues that will cause havoc when we go under contract. We look at the deeds, the legal descriptions, the tax records, the permits, the well record if there is a well, and the septic permit if there is a septic. We also look for possible encroachments, or anything else that might be of concern.
When we took this particular listing, we noticed that the seller had traded a piece of his lot with the neighbor in order to make the parcel a rectangle. The previous lot line followed a diagonal drainage channel. This trade was fine and legal and correctly recorded. However, the seller later created a new deed to place his property into his trust. This is a common practice. Many people put their properties into trusts to avoid probate. The problem in this case, is that the seller deeded the original lot into the trust. However, the seller no longer owned the original lot. He owned a portion of the original lot and a portion of the neighbor's lot. So, his deed into the trust was invalid. We pointed this out and thankfully, he had the original deed. We were able to describe this situation to the title company and they were able to correct the deed and re-record it prior to recording the sale to the new buyer.
As a further check, we reviewed the Title Commitment from the escrow company and discovered that the legal description was incorrect in their document. We pointed this out and they corrected the legal description.