Title Clearing

What is Title Clearing?

One of the key contingencies contained in a real estate purchase agreement relates to title. Essentially, this contingency requires the seller to deliver a clear title to the buyer. A clear title is typically one that is free from defects and encumbrances, except for those permitted by the contract. 

To satisfy this contingency, the parties will typically work with a title insurer who performs an examination of the title and, ultimately, issues the buyer (and their lender, if applicable) a title insurance policy. 

Prior to issuing a title policy, your title officer will review the matters affecting title and work with your escrow agent to clear necessary items prior to the close of escrow.  This process is generally known as title clearing, and enables the seller to convey clear title to the buyer, and the buyer to obtain title insurance.

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Why is Title Clearing Important?

There are two key practical reasons that title clearing matters in the closing process. First, title clearing fulfills the title contingency in the real estate purchase agreement, thereby allowing the transaction to close. Second, this process outlines the requirements that will need to be satisfied before your title insurance underwriter will issue a title policy.  Those requirements are detailed in the title commitment which is provided to you during the closing process. 

More importantly, however, the title clearing process is important because it gives both buyer and seller a better understanding of the title being conveyed. In this way, title clearing is similar to a home inspection, but for the real property rights involved. Just as the inspection provides an idea of what issues may affect the physical condition of the property, title clearing provides an idea of what matters affect the property title, which can have implications on the ability to use or convey the property, or obtain title insurance. 

Conducting a thorough and accurate title examination both helps pave the way for a smooth closing and sets the buyer up for success in the future. 

When Does Title Clearing Occur?

Typically, the title clearing process will start shortly after escrow is opened.  If the parties’ purchase agreement calls for the issuance of a title policy, the title officer will get to work examining the title and preparing a title commitment to distribute to the parties.  The length of time necessary to clear title can vary significantly depending on the specifics of your situation.  Remember, escrow on your transaction cannot close until all of the requirements set forth in your Title Commitment are satisfied, so it’s important to work with your closing team and promptly provide any information requested to ensure an efficient and smooth title clearing process.


Title clearing is an important part of the closing process, providing peace of mind to both buyer and seller that the title being conveyed meets their expectations  and setting forth the terms and conditions on which a title policy will ultimately be issued.  It is important to understand this process, so that you can follow the steps your team is taking to get your transaction to close. 

The information provided in Blueprint Academy does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All content is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide a complete description of the subject matter. Specific processes will vary based on applicable law. The title and closing process will be handled by a third-party attorney to the extent required by law. Product offerings vary by jurisdiction and are not available or solicited in any state where we are not licensed.