Along with inspections and appraisals, the home must go through the title insurance process.
Every property sale or transference of ownership must be executed and recorded properly. Before you can gain ownership of any property, you must have a title company verify that the property ownership documentation has been completed and you can legally acquire the title. Title insurance is required as a stipulation of every mortgage, but even if you're paying cash you should demand title insurance to make sure there are no outstanding liens on the property. A lien on property stays with the property, so buying without title insurance may buy yourself the responsibility of paying off the lien. This process can hinder the closing or even cancel it should an unresolved issue with title be discovered. Issues in title arise when properties are acquired through tax auctions, inheritance, or other complications like improperly conducted land contracts. The title company will verify that there is no break in the chain of legal ownership from the very first moment that the property was available for sale. When all has been verified, your title insurance will be approved and your mortgage/closing can proceed.
There are other cases where a buyer may run into additional contingencies, but your agent will instruct and educate you in those cases. The most common contingencies are the inspection, appraisal, and acquisition of title, which are present with every home purchase. Once the financing and contingencies are approved, the transaction will be "clear to close." The final details will be sorted out and the closing date will be set. Read all about it in Buyer Series #5- Closing.