Careers

Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers

Also known as:  Abstract Searcher, Abstract Writer, Advisory Title Officer, Escrow Officer, Land Title Examiner, Lease Examiner, Lien Searcher, Title Agent, Title Checker, Title Examiner

ABOUT TITLE EXAMINER, ABSTRACTOR, OR SEARCHER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Every time someone buys or sells real estate, a clear title to the property must be proved so that the transaction can proceed legally. Title examiners, abstractors, and searchers are like real estate detectives.

Examiners search public records and examine titles to determine a property's le ...
gal condition. They copy or summarize recorded documents, such as mortgages, trust deeds, and contracts that might affect the title to the property. They might also prepare and issue a policy that guarantees the title's legality. An abstractor summarizes legal or insurance information, including section of law from reference books that could bear on the property title. Searchers investigate real estate records, examine titles, or summarize legal or insurance details for a variety of purposes.

Often, one person handles these three tasks. The title examiner, abstractor and searcher can be self-employed or work for a title search and guarantee firm. You need a high school or associate degree, good research and investigation skills, and an understanding of legal terms. Most training is on-the-job with experienced workers. Title examiners, abstractors, and searchers perform an important piece of millions of transactions every year.
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Search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance documents or details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Obtain maps or drawings delineating properties from company title plants, county surveyors, and/or assessors' offices.
Confer with realtors, lending institution personnel, buyers, sellers, contractors, surveyors, and courthouse personnel in order to exchange title-related information or to resolve problems.
Read search requests in order to ascertain types of title evidence required and to obtain descriptions of properties and names of involved parties.
Enter into recordkeeping systems appropriate data needed to create new title records or update existing ones.
Verify accuracy and completeness of land-related documents accepted for registration; prepare rejection notices when documents are not acceptable.
Direct activities of workers who search records and examine titles, assigning, scheduling, and evaluating work, and providing technical guidance as necessary.
Prepare lists of all legal instruments applying to a specific piece of land and the buildings on it.
Copy or summarize recorded documents, such as mortgages, trust deeds, and contracts, that affect property titles.
Prepare reports describing any title encumbrances encountered during searching activities, and outlining actions needed to clear titles.
Examine documentation such as mortgages, liens, judgments, easements, plat books, maps, contracts, and agreements in order to verify factors such as properties' legal descriptions, ownership, or restrictions.
Examine individual titles in order to determine if restrictions, such as delinquent taxes, will affect titles and limit property use.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Performing Administrative Activities Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Geography Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.