Why Both the Title and The Municipal Lien Search are Essential

In Florida, a quarter of home buyers are first-time buyers. When purchasing property, you’ll need to conduct two types of searches. They are the municipal lien search and a title search.

Most of the time, first-time buyers choose to focus on one and ignore the other. But both are often essential for a home buying process. Here is an outline of the differences and similarities between the two.

Why you Should Get a Municipal Lien Search

During real estate transactions, conducting accurate lien searches can reveal hidden costs. The results from the search ought to reveal unrecorded liens, violations, taxes, and bills associated with the property.

It is not uncommon to overlook the step during the closing process. The work of verifying violations and hidden charges is sometimes delegated to the closing agent. As a result, many crucial details required for the transaction may remain unknown.

Lien Search Versus Title Search

It is possible to run a municipal lien search on an individual or property. You can unearth multiple assets linked to the person in question. However, the results from the lien may not present all the information for a given property.

A title search can be valuable in complementing the lien searches during real estate transactions. It provides information about a specific asset that a lien may overlook. The best approach is to start with a title search. You can finish the process with a municipal lien search to discover all the information associated with the property.

Why Start with a Title Search?

A title search is usually done by an attorney or a lending company on behalf of the client. Both a title and a municipal lien search will contain information associated with an individual or a property. The difference is that the title narrows the details to the asset you are researching.

Starting with a municipal lien will produce bits of information not related to the property. Therefore, the details can weigh you down and will take a lot of your time. Beginning the process with a title search allows you to focus on the property only.

Researching Property and Tangible Taxes

When evaluating the title, one of the encumbrances an agent will look for is property taxes. The municipal lien search shows the owner’s taxes and when they fall behind in their payments. It has the most recent details on taxes linked to the owner.

Compiling All the Details

Another difference with a title search is that it provides details that may end up on the municipal lien. For example, it may contain information about judgments on the property in question. Since there are still issues that are yet to be discovered, conducting a municipal lien alone may exclude crucial details.


A municipal lien search contains a wide range of information regarding violations and county lien letters on the property. But a title search allows you to focus on the property in question. The best approach is often to start with a title and finish with a municipal lien. Consider working with a professional for faster and more accurate results.