CONTRACTS & TRANSFERS

Real estate purchase agreements are governed by contract law. These agreements must therefore:

  • Be in writing.
  • Be marketable (free of encumbrances, liens, or other title defects).

Real estate buyers generally employ an attorney or title insurance company to research the title. This process, called a title search, involves examination of the public records. The title searcher will go through the county’s public records and assemble a chain of title by finding all recorded deeds for the property in question and the current property owners. He or she will also look for encumbrances on the property. Encumbrances include but are not limited to:

  • Mortgages.
  • Unpaid taxes.
  • Legal judgments.
  • Municipal improvement liens.
  • Government claims.
  • Foreclosures.
  • Easements.
  • Covenants.
  • Condemnations.

Erik Luthens

Contact a Iowa real estate attorney representing clients in West Des Moines, Iowa today to schedule your initial consultation. A title insurance company insures the buyers against losses caused if the title is discovered to be invalid. The seller is required to execute and deliver a deed which includes a legal description of the land. Most states require that this deed be officially recorded to establish ownership and notice of its transfer. The title company will also complete the same searches on the potential buyers that may reveal encumbrances that could be attached to the new title, affecting any mortgages or liens.


West Des Moines real estate lawyer, attorney West Des Moines, IA, mortgage / foreclosure / closing law firm - If you would like to schedule a initial consultation regarding your case, please contact the Luthens Law Offices at (800) 685-7948 or complete our inquiry form.