Investing in a new home entails some level of risk. Even if you had an exhaustive inspection performed on the property, there might still be lurking issues that call into question ownership and end up costing you more than you anticipated down the line. That's why having a title search performed is so important. First American explains more on the title search process and why it's crucial for prospective homeowners.
While you can look through public records regarding a property on your own, a title company has methods in place to determine whether there are any issues with a home. Consider that it may not be as easy as simply looking up the address of the property or the name of the previous owners. Issues could also be linked to other factors, and professional assistance is necessary to ensure all your bases are covered.
In terms of what can arise during a title search, some properties have liens associated with them, which will become the responsibility of the new owner when the real estate transaction goes through. Some properties also have restrictions about how they can be used. If you have plans for a property which aren't congruent with these restrictions, you might want to think twice before buying.
The goal is to remove any issues before the transaction goes through. Even if you implement a title insurance policy, it will only cover the period from when the policy is made active. Any prior issues will remain, and these issues may be so serious they make investing in the property not worth it. As a result, a thorough title search can spare you quite a headache as well as provide peace of mind when making such a significant investment.