You are a buyer or an agent representing a buyer and you’re out looking at properties to purchase.  There are lots of choices, from bank owned to short sales to traditional sales (yes there really are some of those out there).  Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the seller’s situation is, especially if you aren’t one of the patient buyers who can wait months and months for short sale approval?  Your title person can let you know who owns the property, how many mortgages there are and their original principal balance, if the taxes are current and if there have been any foreclosure notices or sheriff’s sales that have occurred.  This is all of public record and can be helpful in determining how quickly you may be able to close and how motivated the seller may be.  Some title companies may charge, some may not.  We do not charge as long as it is one of the metro counties we can access online through our subscription services, which includes all of the main ones.  We are happy to check for you. Have as much knowledge as possible when you’re ready to write that offer!