FAQS

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Why use Real Res instead of conducting an in-house search?

Every state municipality has numerous laws/regulations that can result in debts assessed on a property from many different departments. Miss even one, and the client runs the risk for thousands of dollars of unrecorded liens and assessments.

REAL RES, however, has decades of experience in researching properties statewide for this information. This knowledge accelerates turnaround times on all searches and frees your staff up to focus on your core business, Real Res also takes responsibility for errors made on a search so you don’t have unnecessary liability.

What parts of Florida does REAL RES research/service?
Every city and county in the state of Florida. No exceptions.
Is the search guaranteed?

Absolutely. Real Res guarantees our work 100 percent, backed up with a $1 million errors and omissions insurance policy. So, if we make a mistake in your research – you are covered

What is a property information report (aka O&E report)?
Property Information Reports, also known as O&E Reports or Current Owner Search, serve as a property research report that identifies the last recorded owner of a property, a legal description of the property, and open recorded liens that affect the title including mortgages, judgments, lis pendens, etc.

Please note that a Property Information Report serves as a simplified non-insurance title report designed for informational purposes only. The report does not serve as, or replace, title insurance. The report cannot be used in conjunction with the issuance of a title insurance policy.

What is a REAL RES ez order?
The in-house customer portal software that allows clients to:

  • Submit New Orders and/or Update Existing Orders
  • Track & View Status of all Orders Submitted by Your Company
  • View Report of Completed Searches Daily
  • Download Completed Invoice & Summary Reports

Call 877-543-6669 ext. 219 to set up an account, or place a first order and an account will be set up.

What is an open/expired permit and why do they need searched?
An open or expired permit has been applied for or opened with the building department but has not yet received its final inspections and been closed out. Any permits not properly closed with the building department can often have fees associated with resolving these matters and result in a delay in closing.

In many cases, a contractor must be hired to come out to the property to confirm the proper work associated with the permit was completed to their standards, and only then the permit can be closed out. If the work was not done sufficiently, the steps needed to bring it up to code will need to be performed, resulting in significant costs.

If a permit issue is not resolved it can turn into a code violation with the municipality as well.

What is an open code violation and why do they need searched?
An open code violation is an issue on record with the municipality for existing violations, citations, or other enforcement matters pertaining to the property. Some of the most common violations include lot mowing, unsafe structures, property maintenance violations, animal service violations, and abandoned vehicles.

Because code violations are not yet recorded liens, they will not appear on title searches or in public record. If these property issues are not found and corrected, they may be subject to large fines with daily accrual, or the municipality may even have a lien placed on the property. It is imperative a search be done for any outstanding code issues on a property to avoid these situations and to ensure the buyer takes free-and-clear ownership to the property.

What does lienable vs. non-lienable mean in regards to utilities balance information?
lienable utility balance is one that will remain with the property regardless if there is a transfer of ownership. A property may have a utility account with an outstanding balance on it, possibly opened by a previous owner on the property, which will now become the responsibility of the buyer if it is not resolved and/or paid off prior to closing.

non-lienable utility balance means the utility company will send the account holder to collections to recoup the monies owed on the account. Not all utility companies in Florida act the same, which is why it’s important to know if a balance is lienable or non-lienable to the property.

What is a city assessment or special assessment?

Many cities/counties have special assessments that are levied against a property. In most cases, those assessments may be paid off in intervals on the annual tax bill (until paid in full) or may have the balance due in full when there is a transfer of ownership. Real Res determines which assessments need to be paid off at closing and alerts the client to the balance owed.

Does REAL RES provide monthly billing statements?
Yes, monthly statements will be sent every month after financial close detailing any unpaid invoices on the account. Please note all invoices are due at closing or 30 days from invoice date, whichever comes first.
How is the pricing?
Pricing is based upon a standard search fee plus any applicable hard costs
Does Real res have a cancelation policy?
We offer a 100 percent cancelation policy with a few notable exceptions:

*Rush Searches where additional fees are paid to obtain the turnaround

  • Updated Orders
  • Multiple Folio Searches / Bulk orders
  • Estoppel Searches
  • O&E Reports
  • Commercial Orders

*Unless canceled before money has been sent or otherwise agreed upon.

MUNICIPAL LIEN SEARCHES

What is a Municipal Lien Search?
A municipal lien search checks with the municipality the property is located within to see if there are any unrecorded outstanding debts or issues on the subject property. Our standard search includes real estate property taxes, code violations, permit issues, special assessments, unpaid water/sewer/garbage balances.
Does REAL RES research both residential and commercial properties?
Yes. We perform research on all properties whether they are commercial or residential.
Do I need to do a search on vacant land?
Yes. Even though there might not be a structure on the property, there could still be outstanding special assessments, code violations, or even permits that were applied for and still remain open. Knowledge is power.
Will all liens appear on the Real Res report?

A standard title search should be referred to for a search of all recorded liens. Real Res provides research for debts on the property that are not yet recorded with the municipalities.

Does Real Res research judgment liens or governmental liens in Florida?

All Real Res searches focus on the debts held by the municipality with lien capability to the property. Consequently judgment, government or contractor liens would be outside of the scope of that search.

Does Real Res conduct lien searches on owners (past/present)?

No. All Real Res research occurs on the specific property address and folio. The unrecorded liens we discover attach to the property and not the past or present owners.

Can Real Res help with payoff information on recorded liens that show up on a standard title search?

Yes. Just send Real Res the information from the standard title search and we can help attain the actual payoff amount.

If the property is not a foreclosure or short sale, do I still need to do a Municipal Lien Search?
Yes. While the property may not be in foreclosure, the owner may still be behind on their municipal or association bills. It is highly advisable to get a municipal search on any transaction your firm is involved in. Thorough research always leads to smoother closings.
Do I need to do a Municipal Lien Search on a Condominium or Condominium Unit?
Yes. There have been many instances of violations or permit issues existing on an individual unit of a condominium.
What is the general turnaround time for Municipal Lien Searches?

98% of municipal searches Real Res performs in the state of Florida come back within 4-5 business days. REAL RES work directly with the municipal organizations to ensure a fast return of the information. Once received, REAL RES completes the file and immediately sends the report to the client.

HOA ESTOPPEL LETTERS

Can I order an Estoppel Letter without a lien search?
Yes. Ordering both a lien search and estoppel is recommended for all properties including condominiums. However, both can be ordered individually.
REAL RES, however, has decades of experience in researching properties statewide for this information. This knowledge accelerates turnaround times on all searches and frees your staff up to focus on your core business, REAL RES also takes responsibility for errors made on a search so you don’t have unnecessary liability.
When do I need an HOA/condo estoppel letter?
Whenever the subject property in question is a member of a homeowners or condo association.

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