LandInvestors.com Forums **Ask A Question** Title Search in Abstracting State

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #24110
    Ellis
    Participant
    Post count: 35

    How do you guys go about doing due diligence chain-of-title wise in abstracting states like Oklahoma and Iowa (I think Iowa)? I’m in a rural county where there’s no electronic access to document, so I’m forced to consult with the abstracting companies and attorneys in the area. Yet, the idea of JUST a title and lien search seems to be a foreign concept. All the abstracting companies are essentially forcing me to “build an abstract from scratch” in order to dig into chain of title, which essentially involves manually digging at the county courthouse and costs $1,200 minimum. What’s even more absurd is, according to these abstracting companies, I’m on the hook for the $1,200 even if the deal can’t close due to an incurable issue!!! All the attorneys want $500 to search through the records…

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • Kevin Farrell
    Moderator
    Post count: 1457
    ProAdvanced

    Ellis – In Oklahoma I am only buying through title company. I check to make sure that the person that I am talking to is the legal owner but I don’t go back any farther than that. I let the title/abstract company handle it after that. I have had a couple fall apart and had to pay about $500 for the abstract work. I would not self close on any of these.

    Kevin

    Tim Flood
    Participant
    Post count: 32

    I have quite a bit of experience in Oklahoma – None in Iowa, or any other abstracting state.

    We came to discover that there’s no easy answer. A lot of it revolves around the size/value of the parcel and who you think your end buyer might be. For instance, a 5-Acre parcel for a couple thousand in profit doesn’t warrant the expenses of a full-title close. The profit in the deal cannot absorb the costs of the abstract and attorney’s opinion. A larger deal, with more money, and more profit, makes it easier to justify the costs.

    You can easily sell a small parcel without a full abstract. But you have to know how to get your buyer across the finish line.

    There are two resources we found to be invaluable:
    1) OK County Records dot com. A subscription based service, you can search online, back to 19xx, the deeds that have been filed. You need to develop enough simple proficiency in the research to read and understand the basics of the history of the parcel of land you’re buying.

    2) Hire a petroleum landman to perform research work for you. The skillset they have is exactly the same, except this time, they’re looking ABOVE the ground, not BELOW the ground. They can easily tell you if a parcel is going to be clean enough to buy with minimal trouble. You can probably find one for maybe a couple hundred per potential deal. We just wrote “landman” as part of our process funnel. Throw a bunch of signed agreements into the top of the funnel, let the landman do the research, and then pick the best ones from there. There are forums and such for landmen – I posted an ad on one of the forums, and got DOZENS of responses. It’s easy to find a good one.

    Hope this help.

    Kevin Farrell
    Moderator
    Post count: 1457
    ProAdvanced

    Tim – Thanks for posting this information. Great stuff!

    Kevin

    Ellis
    Participant
    Post count: 35
    Pro

    Thank you guys both. I appreciate the feedback. I’m gonna do exactly what you’ve suggested.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.