Once you've opened escrow on a property, you will receive a formal Preliminary Report. This report sets out the conditions under which a policy of title insurance would be issued on a particular parcel of land. Its sole purpose is to facilitate the issuance of the policy.
The records relative to the subject property for the issuance of the title insurance policy are examined and assembled by skilled technicians. The report reflects the matters which would be shown as exceptions in a policy to make the parties to the transaction aware of matters that may need to be cleared before the closing of the transaction.
This report is issued before the title policy—hence the name Preliminary Title Report. Ticor Title of Oregon has provided a great informational piece on How to Read A Preliminary Report.