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Title Study

Wolfenson Lawyers provides specialized legal advice to our clients when buying a property.

The purchase of a property has several steps prior to signing the contract of sale. Among these, is the signing of the promise of sale and the realization of a study of titles on the property.

Studying titles is one of the most important steps, as it provides the security necessary to take this big step with confidence. This procedure consists of studying the history of the property, in order to avoid potential litigation or inconvenience to our clients after its acquisition.

Here is a legal guide to give you general guidance on studying titles:

What is a title study?

The study of titles corresponds to an analysis that is carried out to determine the legal status of the property that you want to acquire. Reviewing all the legal documents of the property, investigating if it has mortgages or other established rights , if the person who claims to be the owner really is, and if he has the ability to dispose of it , among others.

What are the stages of the study of titles?

A title study is said to have two stages , in the first it is verified that all the legal documents of the property are in order to be able to carry out the sale , and the second the lawyer informs his client through a legal report if he recommends or do not buy the property in question.

Who requests the study of titles?

By general gift, the buyer requests it . This is because it is he who is interested in making a purchase safely . Notwithstanding that the seller can also request it.

What documents are necessary for a degree study?

Title studies need several documents to guarantee a responsible purchase of a real estate . Among them, the current domain registrations , the previous public deeds of sale , the SII tax certificates and common expenses , municipal certificates of non-expropriation, among others, stand out.

What are the steps to follow to carry out a title search in Chile?

In order to proceed with a title search in Chile, Wolfenson's lawyers in Santiago begin by examining the previous public deed of sale, the current registration with validity (certificate of ownership in force) of not less than thirty days; the mortgages and encumbrances that may affect the property, but also the possible liens or prohibitions of alienation decreed by judicial resolution, and the declaration, if applicable, of family property issued by a family court. The above information can be obtained from the competent Real Estate Registry (Conservador de Bienes Raíces, CBR).

One of the fundamental observations is to examine whether or not the real estate is subject to expropriation or has been declared of public utility. In addition, it is necessary to analyze whether or not the seller is legally capable, the legal representative if applicable, or the judge authorizing the sale, as in the case of minor owners. On the other hand, it is appropriate for real estate belonging to the conjugal partnership, to verify whether or not the other spouse appears authorizing the alienation. For cases in which the seller is a legal entity or company, our lawyers at Wolfenson verify that the powers of attorney of the person or persons acting on its behalf in the contract must be in force.

Is it convenient to carry out a title search before acquiring a property?

Given the importance and amount of the economic resources involved in the acquisition of a real estate property, it is indispensable to examine its titles by a specialized lawyer of Wolfenson Abogados and to count on his personalized legal advice. On the one hand, it will always be imperative for the bank or financial institution in case of a purchase with bank financing. 


How is the domain and ownership of a real estate property legally accredited in Chile? 

In our country the transfer (tradition) of the right of ownership of real estate is perfected with the competent registration of the title (public deed) in the property registry of the Real Estate Registry (Conservador de Bienes Raíces). Thus, the registration in the Real Estate Registry is a requirement, proof and guarantee of ownership. All the while, by means of the inscription the owner will be able to use, enjoy and dispose fully of the real estate.


What certificates and documents should be examined when performing a title search?

In Chile, in order to carry out a proper title study, it is necessary to immerse yourself as a lawyer in the history of a real estate property, that is, to examine all the aspects involved and not only the corresponding certificates. Among them, there are the certificates of fiscal appraisal and Rol of the property, certificate of municipal reception where it is credited that the property is regularized in the competent municipal works department, certificate of payment of contributions up to date obtained from the General Treasury of the Republic, certificates of ownership where the current owners of the property appear, certificates of ownership where the previous owners of at least thirty years to date appear, verifying that there are no legal defects (to minimize the eventual judicial nullities that have been seen in the jurisprudence), certificate of mortgages, encumbrances and prohibitions from the Real Estate Registry, in order to corroborate if the property is subject or not to any prohibition that may occur in the future and that may harm the potential new owner, marriage certificates to prove the patrimonial regime and the faculties that will be necessary to validly sign the public deed of sale, for example, in case of marital partnership, the signature of both spouses will be necessary, certificate of non-expropriation which proves that the property is not subject to any prohibition that may arise in the future and that may be detrimental to the potential new owner, marriage certificates to prove the property regime and the powers that will be necessary to validly sign the public deed of sale, for example, in case of marital partnership, the signature of both spouses will be necessary, certificate of non-expropriation which proves that the property in question is free of alienation by the State of Chile, certificate that is issued by the Housing and Urbanization Service (SERVIU), certificate of municipal cleaning debt, among others.

Who is in charge of performing the title search?

Generally, if the purchase is made with a bank mortgage loan, it is very likely that these entities will ask the seller for the necessary documentation to be able to properly perform a title search.

All documents and certificates must be provided by the owner of the property. While the buyer is in charge of carrying out the title study, it is essential to hire an expert lawyer in the real estate area in order to minimize risks in the operation.

At Wolfenson Abogados we have ample experience in title studies, if you are interested in the purchase of a real estate property. Our firm has lawyers specialized in the real estate area and real estate law, who not only carry out the title study, but also advise you in the purchase and sale of real estate by means of an integral real estate consultancy.

When is the title search performed?

This legal analysis and report is performed for any type of real estate and is normally done after signing the promise of sale and before signing the final deed of sale. The objective is to certify that all the documents of the real estate are in accordance with the law, and to minimize any possible future inconvenience that could jeopardize the rights and interests of the buyer. For this purpose, it will be convenient to count on the legal advice of our lawyers in Santiago.

Likewise, it is the buyer who usually orders the title search and who bears the expenses. If the purchase is made through a mortgage loan, the bank or financial institution will request the title search to ensure that the property can support the payment of the loan.


How long can a title search take?

As for the time to perform the title search, it will depend on the condition of the property being transferred and the amount of background information that needs to be examined. This process could take anywhere from a week to a month.


What is the result of the title search?

The result of a title search is called a title report, which is the final stage of the process. The specialist records whether the titles are in accordance with the law or not, that is to say, if it is possible to carry out the purchase and sale operation with security or if there are some risks that the buyer must assume. Likewise, all the information gathered on the property will be presented and if there is any risk, the steps to be taken -if possible- to correct it will be explained.

What is the list of documents required for a title search?

The following is a general list of documents required for a title search:

- Copy of the seller's identity card.

- Certificate of marriage, widowhood, divorce or notarized affidavit of bachelorhood of the seller.

Property documents:

- Registration of ownership of the property with certificate of good standing.

- If the property was purchased more than 30 years ago, a simple copy of the deeds is required. If the property was purchased by you less than 30 years ago, copies of the title deeds of each of the previous owners are required. Also, the deeds will be studied in the judicial file.

- Certificate of mortgages, encumbrances, interdictions, prohibitions, litigations and family property.

- Copy of the deed of sale.

- If the property is part of a condominium, whether it is a house or apartment, the copy of the Co-ownership Regulations and its registration must be submitted.

Technical documents:

- Proof of Payment of Contributions. The procedure is carried out at the General Treasury of the Republic and can be requested virtually on its website:

- Certificate of No expropriation Serviu and No municipal expropriation. This document is issued by Municipalities and Serviu of each region and can be requested virtually through the website:

- Certificate of domiciliary number. This can be requested at the Municipal Works Department of the municipality where the property is located.

- Tax Appraisal Certificate. It can be requested virtually at the SII website:

- Up to date common expenses (if applicable).

- Copy of blueprints.

- Among others

Wolfenson Abogados provides its clients with exceptional legal advice in the study of titles with lawyers specialized in real estate law.

Links of interest about the Title Study:

1.- Chilean Civil Code

2.- Real Estate Conservator of Santiago

3.- Rustic Land Leasing

Wolfenson Lawyers. Chile Law Firm.

If you need more information and legal advice regarding inheritance or inheritance law, we invite you to contact our lawyers in Santiago. We are located at Av. El Golf 40, Floor 12, in the commune of Las Condes, Santiago de Chile.

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