Who pays for the title search and municipal lien search varies in Florida depending on the county. For example, in Miami-Dade and Broward counties it’s customary for the seller to pay these fees to the Florida closing attorney. The cost will vary by county, but you can expect to pay $100 to $200 each for the municipal lien search and the title search.
Per the standard “AS IS” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase approved by the Florida Realtors, who pays for title insurance and the related title and lien search fees is negotiable, and one of the following options can be selected:
(i) Seller shall designate Closing Agent and pay for Owner’s Policy and Charges, and Buyer shall pay the premium for Buyer’s lender’s policy and charges for closing services related to the lender’s policy, endorsements and loan closing, which amounts shall be paid by Buyer to Closing Agent or such other provider(s) as Buyer may select; or
(ii) Buyer shall designate Closing Agent and pay for Owner’s Policy and Charges and charges for closing services related to Buyer’s lender’s policy, endorsements and loan closing; or
(iii) Miami-Dade/Broward Regional Provision: Seller shall furnish a copy of a prior owner’s policy of title insurance or other evidence of title and pay fees for: (A) a continuation or update of such title evidence, which is acceptable to Buyer’s title insurance underwriter for reissue of coverage; (B) tax search; and (C) municipal lien search. Buyer shall obtain and pay for post-Closing continuation and premium for Buyer’s owner’s policy, and if applicable, Buyer’s lender’s policy. Seller shall not be obligated to pay more than $__ (if left blank, then $200) for abstract continuation or title search ordered or performed by Closing Agent.
Pro Tip: The title search looks at the chain of title (i.e. the property’s ownership history) to see if there are any defects in the title (i.e. liens, judgments) and that the seller is the true owner of the property. A municipal lien search looks for code violations, water and sewer unpaid balances and open or expired permits.