What is a Title Abstractor?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

A title abstractor is someone who searches records and files pertaining to a specific property in order to find its history. This can include transactions between current and previous owners in buying and selling the property, as well as any liens or judgments against the land or house. Various individuals may need the services of an experienced title abstractor, including real estate agents, lenders, and home buyers.

In most cases, a land or home buyer will need to hire a title abstractor to make sure the title to the property is clean and ready to be sold. This is especially important for those who are taking out a loan in order to purchase the property, because most lenders require insurance against the land before money will be given. The abstractor will find previous owners and transactions which generally date back at least ten years.

Sometimes a title abstractor also works as a real estate attorney and offers various services in title searching, drawing up contracts, and fielding payments between buyers and sellers. Attorneys who act as title abstractors also have the added benefit of offering services to fix titles that are not sellable as is. Other times a licensed realtor may act as an abstractor in order to help his or her clients make smart buying decisions. Oftentimes, though, an individual will obtain the necessary tools and licensing to offer title abstraction services and offer them freelance.

Finding accurate title information is important because in some cases past owners may have unsettled debts against him or the land someone is intending to buy. If this is the case, steps must be taken to settle the debts or clear the land of any judgments before the property should be purchased. By taking the time to hire a title abstractor to find these things, buyers can avoid costly mistakes that could result in loss of the property or having to pay debts incurred by another party.

To become a title abstractor, one must become licensed in some areas to do business. Specialized databases are generally used to find information on properties, and membership into these systems may need to be obtained in order to find accurate information. Most times this requires a fee or fees to get started, along with separate costs in order to remain a member of the site.

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