What does a title searcher do

By searching government records you can identify the chain of title that shows the history of everyone who has bought and sold the property you're interested in. You can also look for liens and judgments that might "cloud" the title to the property. The records are public, so access is free. If you're looking for more than a quick answer about a title, the services of an attorney or title search company are recommended, as they have experience in reading titles and are trained to spot notations on a property's title.

The first step is to find out the county where the property is located. Then go to that county's website to start your records search. Look for the page for the county assessor's office. As part of assessing property taxes, the office keeps the records for current ownership of the property and the title transfer to the current owner.

The county deeds office records every transaction where a title deed changes hand. It may have information online about earlier title transfers. Some counties don't have all their files available over the internet. If you can't find the information online, you will have to visit the county offices.

The county's computer network may have more information stored digitally than you can access online. The county deeds office and tax assessor's office will also have hard copies of their records. If you're looking to buy a property, it might be worth paying for a thorough title search to protect yourself before making an investment by having a professional review the title search.

The assessor's website provides both the property's street address and the legal description that identifies the exact piece of land and its boundaries.

Record both the address and the description for further research. Property sales histories can get confusing; the legal description makes it clear exactly which property a particular record refers to. Fraser Sherman has written about bankruptcy law, real estate law, tax law, business law and several other categories. He lives in Durham NC with his awesome wife and two wonderful dogs.

His website is frasersherman. Reviewed by: Michelle Seidel, B. Get the names of every grantor and grantee — the persons giving up and taking title respectively — in the chain of title.

Look for any liens filed against the property, such as mortgages, tax liens and liens for unpaid debts. The liens stay with the property when the title changes hands, unless they're paid off. Check the owners' names in the county court records to see if they have any court judgments against them. The judgment could lead to a lien on the property. Has the current owner kept the property taxes up to date?

If not, the county may look to you to settle them if you take ownership. Are there easements on the property? An easement gives someone other than the owner a right to use it.

For example, beachfront property might come with an easement allowing people to walk across the sand even if you object. Note any gaps or possible errors in the record. If there's a missing or incorrect name on a deed, for example, it might indicate the title isn't clear.

what does a title searcher do

You may need professional help to determine the facts.A title search is an examination of public records to determine and confirm a property's legal ownership, and find out what claims or liens are on the property. A clean title is required for any real estate transaction to go through properly.

A title search is usually performed by a title company or an attorney, often on behalf of a prospective buyer who may be interested in making an offer on the property. The process may also be initiated by a lender or other entity that wants to verify ownership of the property, and determine what claims or judgments against the property may exist before approving a loan or other credit that uses that property as collateral.

While it is possible for a prospective buyer or another individual to conduct a title search on their own, this is not recommended. Legal documents can be confusing, and navigating records at the courthouse can be a tricky process. It would be easy for an inexperienced person to overlook something important. Before you close a deal on the purchase of a home, your attorney or a title company will search public records on the property's ownership. Once the search is finished, you will receive a preliminary title report.

Depending on the exact nature of the issue, you can then decide whether you want to go through with the purchase of the property. You will likely want to include your attorney and real estate agent in these discussions. Issues discovered via a title search can run the gamut from minor to significant.

What Do Title Examiners and Searchers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

Even a company or professional experienced in conducting title searches can occasionally miss something, or there can be a paperwork error that leads to a document being overlooked. For this reason, buyers will often purchase title insurance which can protect you and your mortgage lender from financial loss if a problem with the title arises during or after the sale. Title companies must do a search on every title in order to check for claims or liens of any kind against them before they can be issued.

A title search is an examination of public records to determine and confirm a property's legal ownership, and to find out whether there are any claims are on the property. Erroneous surveys and unresolved building code violations are two examples of blemishes that can make the title "dirty.

Unlike traditional insurance, which protects against future events, title insurance protects against claims for past occurrences. A basic owner's basic title insurance policy typically covers the following hazards:. Purchasing A Home. Real Estate Investing. Your Money. Personal Finance. Your Practice. Popular Courses. Home Ownership Purchasing A Home. What Is a Title Search? Key Takeaways A title search is the process whereby the ownership and claims on a piece of real property are evaluated before a transaction can take place.Last Updated: August 6, References Approved.

This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewedtimes. If you are purchasing a home or a piece of property, it is very important that you conduct a title search before you complete the transaction. A title search is the process of going through past deeds, tax records, and other financial transactions linked to a particular piece of property.

The purpose of a title search is to make sure that the person selling you the property is actually the owner so that the property can legally transfer to you without any problems. Or more importantly, the property is not subject to liens or encumbrances that would cloud title or prohibit transfer of clear title.

You can conduct a title search yourself; however, if this is your first title search, you may want to consider hiring an experienced title search company.

Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever.

Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. To do a title search, gather as information as you can about the current property owner and the property, including the street address.

What does a Title Searcher do?

Next, search for the property deed online, locate the most recent deed first, and gather any previous ones that are available. Then, start with the most recent deed and move backwards in time to check that ownership passed properly. These documents will also tell you if there are any outstanding taxes on the property.

For tips on consulting a real estate attorney for assistance, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Log in Facebook. No account yet? Create an account. Edit this Article. We use cookies to make wikiHow great.

By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Explore this Article parts. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Article Summary. Co-authored by Clinton M. Part 1 of You need to gather as much information as you can about the current property owner and the property itself. You do this so that you can more easily locate the current and past deeds for the property in which you are interested. These records are open to the public and many places have their records online.In real estate business and law, a title search or property title search is the process of retrieving documents evidencing events in the history of a piece of real propertyto determine relevant interests in and regulations concerning that property.

In the case of a prospective purchase, a title search is performed primarily to answer three questions regarding a property on the market:. A title search is also performed when an owner wishes to mortgage property and the bank requires the owner to insure this transaction.

How to Order a Title Search (Abstract of Title)

Anyone may do a title search, with the right knowledge and resources. Documents concerning conveyances of land are a matter of public record. These documents are maintained in hard copy paper format or sometimes scanned into image files.

The information within the documents is typically not available as data format as the records are descriptions of legal events which contain terms, conditions, and language in excess of data. Generally, there are two main types of title searching, a full coverage search and limited coverage search; other types include non-insured reports and foreclosure guarantee search. It is often the case that people choose to contact a title company or attorney to conduct an exhaustive title search.

The process of performing a title search involves accessing the official land records for the subject property. Each record is a document evidencing an event which occurred in the history of the property.

A deed records an event of property transfer, a mortgage documents the collateral interest of a home loan, and a lien documents a claim against the property in favor of another, such as a creditor, vendor, or tradesman. The objective of the title search is to establish clear, marketable title by exposing any outstanding claims prior to transfer of title. Each recorded document must name the parties involved, e.

The grantor is the party transferring away a property right, and the grantee is receiving a property right. In the case of a deed the grantor would typically be the property seller, and the grantee the buyer. A mortgage grantor or mortgagor is the borrower of the loan, since they are giving away certain property rights to the mortgagee, lender, or mortgage grantee.

What Is a Property Title Search? Why It Matters for Buyers and Sellers

More recent wording simplifies this language with "Borrower" and "Lender. The records are kept in a centralized government office, usually at the county courthouse in states with strong county governments such as Washington State or Massachusetts, the title on the door would be something like Registrar of Deeds or County Recorder ; or in the municipal offices in small states such as Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Islandoften the title searcher must go to each individual town or county office to research the title.

The process of a title search begins with searching for and retrieving each physical document from the books which contain them. Every document is recorded by date in a special set of volumes called by various names such as Grantor-Grantee index, Land Records or Deed Recordswhich may or may not be digitized or scanned into a searchable file, depending on the financial resources of the county or town.

An official stamp located usually at the bottom of the first page gives the name of the recording official, date, time, book and page number.

The collected documents are then reviewed and analyzed to see how each affects the property, and which documents have been released by subsequent recordings.A title searcher combs through public records to learn as much as possible about a property title.

what does a title searcher do

While individuals can perform title searchers on their own, most prefer to consult professionals, because the process can be lengthy and arduous, and title searchers are skilled at uncovering information which may be challenging to find. People typically hire a title searcher during escrow as part of their investigation of a potential property purchase, and title searches may also be required to refinance a property, take out a construction loan, or purchase title insurance.

When a title searcher is hired, he or she can run either a full or limited search, depending on the needs of the client. In either case, the goal of the search is to uncover information which could become an obstacle to transfer of the property, or could become a problem for the property owner.

For example, a title search may reveal that a parcel is technically landlocked, with no easements from neighbors to reach the nearest road. During a title search, the title searcher confirms that the stated owner of the property really is the owner, and that there are no liens on the property, such as a mortgage or judgment against the property owner.

Title searchers also look for people with a legal interest in a property, such as an absent co-owner. They also confirm the details of the property, making sure that descriptions of the property and its boundaries are accurate. Title searchers also look at restrictions which may be in place, such as easements, forfeited mineral rightsand other issues.

This is designed to help people avoid unpleasant surprises. If, for example, someone buys a piece of property with timber rights which have been sold to a lumber company, the lumber company has the right to access the property and remove the timber.

Title searchers are also used to check assessment rates, which can vary depending on the location of the property. For example, someone may be surprised to learn that in addition to a standard property tax rate of one percent, they are also obliged to pay an additional municipal tax of half a percent. A title searcher needs excellent research skills, and good relationships with people who hold information about property titles. This includes regional land record offices, title companies, and banks.

Most title searchers are skilled with computers, but also capable of poring through older records stored in ledgers, and they must have sharp eyes for problems.

If a title searcher fails to identify an issue with a property, he or she could be held liable. Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors. Please enter the following code:. Login: Forgot password?Learn more. Shape Created with Sketch. Return to Zillow.

A title company makes sure that the title to a piece of real estate is legitimate and then issues title insurance for that property. Title companies also often maintain escrow accounts — these contain the funds needed to close on the home — to ensure that this money is used only for settlement and closing costs, and may conduct the formal closing on the home. At the closing, a settlement agent from the title company will bring all the necessary documentation, explain it to the parties, collect closing costs and distribute monies.

Finally, the title company will ensure that the new titles, deeds and other documents are filed with the appropriate entities. The title company makes sure a property title is legitimate, so that the buyer may be confident that once he buys a property, he is the rightful owner of the property. To ensure that the title is valid, the title company will do a title search, which is a thorough examination of property records to make sure that the person or company claiming to own the property does, in fact, legally own the property and that no one else could claim full or partial ownership of the property.

Shop for mortgage rates anonymously on Zillow. During the title search, the title company also looks for any outstanding mortgagesliens, judgments or unpaid taxes associated with the property, as well as any restrictions, easements, leases or other issues that might impact ownership. The title company may also require a property survey, which determines the boundaries of the plot of land that a home sits on, whether the home sits within those boundaries, whether there are any encroachments on the property by neighbors and any easements that may impact an ownership claim.

Before a title company issues title insurance, it will prepare an abstract of title, which is a short summary of what it found during the title search basically, this is the history of the ownership of the property. Then, it will issue a title opinion letter, which is a legal document that speaks to the validity of the title.

Once the title is found to be valid, the title company will likely issue a title insurance policy, which protects lenders or owners against claims or legal fees that may arise from disputes over the ownership of the property. If, in fact, the title was wrong and they are the rightful owner of the home, your title insurance policy will likely pay you the value of the home and the lender the amount they lent you to buy the home.

Ask your real estate agent, peers who have recently bought a home or your lender for recommendations for a title company. Then, do your homework on the title companies recommended. Look for a title company that has years of experience doing this have they done hundreds or even thousands of these kinds of transactions? Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine whether the company has any complaints against it. The cost of title insurance depends on the size of the loan and varies greatly depending on the state.

The good news is that the premium is a one-time fee you pay at closing, not an ongoing expense. Note that you may be able to get a discounted rate on your title insurance if the property was sold within the previous five years; just call and ask. You may meet with or talk to an agent from the title company on multiple occasions. First, you may decide to meet with a few agents from title companies before you buy your home to help you decide which company to go with. If the title company maintains an escrow account for you, the agent may reach out to you to provide details on that account or you may contact him with questions.

If your title company handles your closing, you will meet with a settlement agent in person then.There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a title searcher. There are certain skills that many title searchers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed None, None and None.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a title searcher, we found that a lot of resumes listed Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

If you're interested in becoming a title searcher, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.

Even though some title searchers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED. Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a title searcher. When we researched the most common majors for a title searcher, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

Other degrees that we often see on title searcher resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees. You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a title searcher. In fact, many title searcher jobs require experience in a role such as title examiner.

Meanwhile, many title searchers also have previous career experience in roles such as customer service representative or cashier. As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, a title searcher can determine their career goals through the career progression.

For example, they could start out with a role such as title examiner, progress to a title such as office manager and then eventually end up with the title property manager. The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, Overview Jobs Skills.

Working as a Title Searcher There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a title searcher.

what does a title searcher do

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