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Houston realtor listing responsibility?

I am in Houston, TX.. When a realtor here takes a listing here, what are they required to do (under Real Estate Assn rules/regs and/or under law) to ensure the seller has good title to the property? Is it normal or standard practice to do a title search when they take a listing or do they just assume the seller can actually close when they sign acceptance of an offer?
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May 05 2013 - Houston
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It is good to have a check list for all agents so they can run through and check off the processes and assignments they have completed when it comes to listings a buying properties. This is the best way we have figured it out. Even for seasoned agents this is the best route.

Sincerely
Travis Wallach
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February 27
Review your contract...that is where you will find answers as to what is required by the seller regarding title. However, in most contracts, if the seller is unable to provide clear title the purchaser has the option of terminating the contract and receiving the earnest money which was tendered.  I know this isn't what you want, but it may be a reality since any flag raised regarding the validity of the foreclosure can tie up this property for months or even years.

Due to Procedural Rule 53 (TX. Dept. of Insurance), very few title companies in Texas will perform a title search prior to receiving a contract for fear of violating this rule and suffering the wrath of TDI. 

Real estate agents have no obligation and in most instances are not qualified to comment on title issues. Your agent does have an obligation to continue communicating with you as he/she receives updates from the title company and/or seller.

 
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May 06 2013
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I have a contract to buy the property, which is a building lot.. I had to show "proof of funds" but the seller doesnt have to show proof of good title? In this case the property was foreclosed on and the mortgage corp was the seller, except there are some foreclosure documents missing and there were city liens that needed to be released.. I have been waiting 3 months to close and they are now 2 months in breach of contract. I could have had the house built by now, this is costing me money and the realtor (who double ended) is treating me like a mushroom. I have no idea how much longer this mess will take for the seller to clean up but they dont seem to care how it affects me at all. And the realtor has just left me hanging. :(
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May 05 2013
It is not required but it is good practice and I know that very very few agents do it.  When I trained agents, I always recommended that they have the title pulled by the title company once the home is listed.  It helps avoid any future glitches that may arise.

It's like a credit report, there are sometimes mistakes on there, a deed that hasn't been recorded property, a mechanical lien, or old tax lien etc.

Naima

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May 05 2013
The listing agent has no responsibility, and in fact is prohibited from, determining the adequacy of title unless the agent has the requisite legal knowledge to make such an assessment. Few, if any, actually do. Even if the agent does possess such competency, the agent will not have access to any title issues until the title search has been completed by the title company and the title company will not order the title search until the title company receives a contract.
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May 05 2013
I believe for the most part GA & TX are similar and I have only ever ordered a title search on Short sales and 2-3 other instances where we knew there might be a title objection.  

It is the responsibility of the SELLER to disclose any potential lein/title issues.  

Again, I could be wrong in TX. (And Ill even ask a colleague who is one of the best agent/brokers in your area).  

End of the day though, if you think there might be issues, order a title search--- as soon. 
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May 05 2013
 
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