Most of us have bought or sold property at one time or another, whether it was a tiny apartment or a large country estate. Even if we haven’t, we’ve seen how the sale happens, or have read about it. We know all about the buyers and the sellers, and the dealers for both sides, and we even know that sometimes lawyers lend a hand. We know that property can be disputed, when there are two or more parties fighting over it. What most of us don’t know, is that there is a very important person in the middle of all this called the title examiner, who examines title deeds and property records to determine if a property can be sold.
Title examiners usually work for property insurance companies, legal firms or real estate firms. When somebody wants to buy or sell a piece of property, title examiners look through many documents including maps and records of sale. These documents can be found at realtors and banks, and even surveyors’ offices and government agency officers.
What a title examiner has to find out is if a piece of property is in foreclosure. They also have to make sure that it is not in dispute, and there are no restrictions on its sale. They must find out if there is another person claiming to be its owner. It is only when a title examiner is satisfied that the sale can go through that a property can be bought or sold.
To become a title examiner you basically need a high school diploma, but some people take college classes pertinent to real estate law, which help them a great deal in their work. There is always on the job training as well.
These are the basic duties of a title examiner:
• Examine all property access issues as well as objection letters, and verify them
• Review public and private records of all title documents like deeds, liens, judgments, surveys and probates to verify legal descriptions
• Appraise and grade title products from vendors, and put them through quality control
• Thoroughly review title research reports and other documentation
• Work to resolve issues such as missing or contradictory information in title documents
• Assist Policy Department to guarantee compliance with TDI regulations
• Inspect county records for both residential and commercial properties
• Verify ownership of all real estate registered in the project area
• Analyze deeds, mortgages, tax assessments, easements and other instruments
• Execute title examination of title orders that need expertise, like metes and bounds descriptions
• Make UW decisions according to established guidelines, and liaise, if needed, with underwriting legal teams
• Undertake comparison of title to real property in a bit to verify its authenticity