Friday, January 31st, 2020 January31st2020

Sell for More Trivia: What title issues can kill your deal?

Published on January 31st, 2020

Sell for More Trivia is a weekly blog series that playfully presents a trivia question about commercial real estate.


When selling commercial real estate, most sellers hire a title company to hold the earnest money, prepare the closing documents and provide title insurance on the transaction.

After a Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed, the title company will generate a Preliminary Title Policy.  The most important section of that document is the “Exceptions.”  If buyer objects to any of the Exceptions, the seller has to work with the title company to have them removed…which is sometimes easier said than done.

Several common title obstacles could potentially delay (or kill) a closing until the proper documentation is secured. Examples:

  • Bankruptcies, probates, and foreclosures can complicate a transaction and require additional documentation
  • Establishing the fact of death in a joint tenancy
  • Use of proper execution of a power of attorney
  • Family or business trust (Revocable, irrevocable, charitable)
  • Recent construction…mechanics’ liens or subdivision map issues may exist
  • Discoveries during physical inspections such as encroachments or off-record easements
  • Clearing liens or judgments
  • Flood zone
  • Clearing child or spousal support liens
  • Proper execution of documents (errors, illegal deeds or even forgeries)
  • Proper notary seals
  • Transfer of loans involving corporations or partnerships
  • Errors in public records (clerical or filing errors could affect the deed or survey of the property)
  • Illegal deeds (It’s possible that a prior deed was made by an undocumented immigrant, a minor, a person of unsound mind, or one who is reported single but in actuality married. These instances may affect the enforceability of prior deeds)
  • Missing heirs (When a person dies, the ownership of his home may fall to his heirs, or those namedwithin his will. However, those heirs are sometimes missing or unknown at the time of death.)
  • Undiscovered encumbrances (like restrictions or covenants limiting the use of your property)
  • Unknown easements (An unknown easement may prohibit you from using it as you’d like, or could allow government agencies, businesses, or other parties to access all or portions of your property)

The most common issue…an old mortgage showing in the public record as still outstanding.


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About Beau Beach, MBA CCIM

Beau is a tenacious Commercial Real Estate Broker, author and adoring father of four. His clients appreciate his no-nonsense demeanor and his legendary work ethic.

Beau leads Beachwood which is a commercial real estate broker for sellers in the Nashville, Milwaukee and South Florida markets.

He’s the author of the books The 3 Reasons: Why Most Commercial Properties Don’t Sell and True Wealth: What Every Seller Should Know About 1031 Exchanges.

Beau can be reached at 800-721-3287, click to schedule a call or