Part 14*: What Type of Title is the Seller of a Residential Property in New York Obligated to Deliver to the Purchaser?

In New York, “title” to the real estate describes the property’s pedigree. For example, the vesting deed, any mortgage, utility easements, and any restrictive covenants would all be included in the property’s title. At the closing, the Seller conveys title to the purchaser. Paragraph 13 of the standard form of Residential Contract of Sale in New York describes the title that seller is obligated to deliver:

“Seller shall give and Purchaser shall accept such title as any reputable title company doing business in New York State shall be willing to approve and insure in accordance with its standard form of title policy approved by the New York State Insurance Department, subject only to the matters provided for this contract.”
It is beyond the scope of this blog to delve into the many different types of title issues than can arise in the context of a residential transaction. A few common culprits are worth mentioning, however.

First, many residential homeowners use a mortgage loan to purchase the property. That mortgage acts as a lien on the property and must be cleared at or before closing. The proceeds of the sale maybe used to clear that lien and the title;

Second, there may be a restrictive covenant on the parcel. So long as the title company is willing to insure that the existing structures do not violate the covenant.

*Thank you for taking the time to read this article. This article is part of our “From Contract to Closing; Demystifying NY Residential Real Estate” Series. Other aspects of residential real estate transactions in New York are discussed in other Parts of this series.

For questions about residential real estate law, or general information about our firm, please contact us at (914) 338-8050 or send an e-mail to We look forward to hearing from you.

Betensky Law PLLC
118 N. Bedford Road, Suite 302
Mount Kisco, New York 10549
(914) 338-8050

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