A search of relevant documents to ensure that a buyer will have free and clear title of a property.
A title search is typically performed by the buyer's lawyer.
Sometimes, a title search will reveal a problem which must be dealt with, such as a lien, a work order from the city, or an undischarged mortgage loan.
Without the title search, the buyer might end up involuntarily assuming the mortgage loan, having to fulfil the work order, or having to pay off the lien. For this reason, a title search can be seen as a form of financial protection for the buyer.