Date: April 22, 2021

By: Attorney Meaghan Alexander

Title Companies in Illinois

What is Title?

When trying to understand the real estate process it is important to understand the term title. Simply put, the definition of title is the term used to show who is the legal owner of a property. The title allows the property owner the ability to sell. 

What is a Title Company?

“The role of a title company is to verify that the title to the real estate is legitimately given to the home buyer. Essentially, they make sure that a seller has the rights to sell the property to a buyer.” A title company will do the hard work to assure you can sell your home. 

What Does a Title Company Do?

Firstly, prior to a sale, a title company will perform a title search. During a title search, the title company will try to identify any potential issues with the title. For example, a title company will see if there are outstanding mortgages or other existing liens, such as liens for unpaid taxes, homeowner association dues, and court judgments. In addition, the title company will also identify record. For instance, these include, restrictions, easements, pending litigation, and possibly leases. A title company’s search identifies issues with title. This is so a seller can attempt to resolve those issues in time for closing.

Title Commitment

The document generated by the title company showing the potential issues associated with title to property is called a title commitment.  It is a proposal to issue a policy of title insurance subject to certain requirements and exceptions. Prior to issuance of a policy of title insurance, the title company will require that the seller meet the list of requirements and address the exceptions by resolving issues identified in the title commitment document. 

Property Surveys

Often, a contract to sell real estate will require a property survey.  A survey will help identify encroachments on your property. For instance, encroachments such as a neighbor’s deck or addition crossing the property boundary onto your lot. Similarly, surveys will also identify improvements that were improperly constructed in utility easements or closer to lot lines than the city or county allows. Lastly, it is important for sellers to be aware of any potential problems with a survey in advance of closing so that the seller can resolve them go forward with the sale.


“What Does A Title Company Do?” Quicken Loans, Quicken Loans, 11 Dec. 2020,