All real estate transactions cannot proceed without a title. This is also the same for cars, boats and other large items such as large trailers. The title for real estate, usually referred to as a deed, is a legal document that details the location and the owner of the item. A title needs to be legally transferred from one person to another and this is done through a process called a title order.
A title order is issued when real estate changes hands. This most often happens through buying, selling or inheriting. The title order starts before the sale or transfer happens as it is needed to ensure the real estate is free and clear. The title company will search the public records associated with the property, going back 50 years or more.
Once the title company has confirmed the title is free from claims or liens, it will issue title insurance to the new owner of the property and to the lender. This insurance policy will pay any outstanding claims or liens that may have been missed during the title search by the title company.