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Title Report and Legal Description

Amy Perkins

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
I just wanted to put it out there that appraisers are not in the business of ordering title reports, we can't afford it with the low fees and barely have enough time to complete the report. Also, for Counties with GIS and the junk data from Co Records via MLS does not give very good legal descriptions in TN. The lender should provide the legal description via title report. WHY IS IT ON THE FORM ANYWAY! Legal descriptions can be very complex depending on the type and frankly the liability of the legal description should not be placed on the appraiser. We are here to value, not do complex title tasks and we aren't paid enough to go get the deeds, nor do we have that kind of time.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Really? At worst it takes a hour and 25 cents to copy a deed unless your courthouse is 40 miles ahead. Do you ask them to provide a copy of the deed? Why would you need to buy a complete title report? Ask them for it.
 

Carnivore

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Just stick a copy of the deed with the legal description in the report. Title report is way more comprehensive than a simple legal description. Every now and then some dummy will buy a piece of dirt or improved property and go cheap and not by title insurance.

The title report is there problem.

Your cert & Limitations page says so or at least absolves you of any problems with the title.

Your also not a lawyer, you don't pretend to be one not even on TV. :)
 

Mr Rex

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
I have always provided legal descriptions and plats if available even when I had to go by the courthouse to get them. As Renee noted sometimes there is significant relevant info in the legal and/or plat. Working on one now that shows 2 encroachments. One is an old barn mostly on the subject property that encroaches on the adjoining property and a fence that encroaches on the subject property that was installed by the adjoining property owner.
 

Artemis Fowl

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
The legal description is kinda important as it identifies the property. The legal description exists only on the deed and you should absolutely have, at least, the latest deed. Anything that comes from an assessor office is a "tax description" and may or may not match the legal verbiage. If something is wrong with the deed's legal description it should not be your problem...others are paid to resolve those issues. If you have used the deed's legal and something comes up...you are not liable but they may ask for a revision when it is resolved. If you have used a tax description and the legal is different...it's on you and you'd better be sure the property described matches if the verbiage differs.

States may vary. I really don't know but in my state the Register of Deeds is a distinct entity from the assessor's office.

Agree...a title report should be provided.

I took a call yesterday where a title-person was having a fit over a deed with a metes and bounds description. Our tax description uses plat-type callouts because it is a platted subdivision...looked correct to me. At some point in the title chain the legal description for that lot was switched from platted reference to metes and bounds. She eventually realized who had more work to do on the problem (hint: not me).
 

Carnivore

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Jgrant and Mr Rex, you are both correct in your statements, sort of

Legal Description is just that a legal description. It may include items that are important to your appraisal/valuation problem. Even then a deed w/legal description may or may not reveal encroachments. County Plats may or may not reveal encroachments.

Title report is an entirely different animal In our zoo we don't take care of

So is a Survey - Surveys reveal all kinds of issues that you see may not see in a common legal description of mete & Bounds.

The Lenders in there infinite wisdom fueled by there Fast & Cheap business model are the ones who did away with survey's, termite reports, well water testing AND are you ready for this; they did away with Full Title Searches also. They let the Lawyers go back to the last transaction. BUT Lawyers are smarter than we are, they covered their rear ends by stating the limits of their title search.
 

Carnivore

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
This is crazy chit. Someone earlier in another thread mentioned that the AMC Phone Monley wanted the appraiser to Pay for the HOA/Condo Doc's...something like $200 bucks... In other words float them a $200 interest fee loan. Now they want a Title Report. Do you know how much that cost...

$200 Condo Doc
$200 Title Search
$150 for a Survey
$35 Flood Cert

Whats Next? Termite Report?

They are playing you...Don't be a fool!

If you want to play there game then do this:

$200 Condo Doc + $100 your fee = $300 bucks they owe you
$200 Title Searach _ $100 your fee - $300
etc
etc
 

CANative

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
FHA and the GSEs REQUIRE the full legal description. It's $5 per using CoreLogic. More if I go to the County PLUS the time it takes to go there and come back and usually it is more than 40 miles.

I hound each and every client/AMC to provide the prelim which contains the legal. 7 out of 10 times I get it. They're now starting to just making it available as part of the downloads. Those who don't are fly-by-nights and the really big bank (Stage and America's bank) that don't provide it because they don't want to pay for title services before knowing the value is going to work. ****hats.

It saves me at least $500 per year or more.
 
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