What does a Title Examiner do?

Erin J. Hill

The job of a title examiner is to perform research regarding the history of a property in order to find information regarding the land’s title. This will generally include obtaining records on previous and current owners as well as how the land was sold or lost by each owner. Title examiners also work with homebuyers and sellers to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly, or to help if any problems arise. Many title examiners are hired privately by buyers or sellers, banks, lending companies, and real estate agencies.

Title examiners often work with banks and homebuyers to research the history of a property.
Title examiners often work with banks and homebuyers to research the history of a property.

Many times a title examiner is also a lawyer who specializes in real estate. This will allow him to not only look up information on a title, but to represent a buyer or sellers with a problem that may arise. For example, homes and land that are bought in a tax auction are often sold using a quick claim title. This is a title or deed that essentially states that the owner is selling whatever portion of the land he legally owns.

To clarify, if a man buys a property in a tax auction and then sells the land using a quick claim deed, he is relinquishing his rights to the land as he would in a regular sale. However, the former owner may still be able to claim the property if he pays whatever delinquent taxes were owed along with the purchase price. Most homebuyers would not knowingly purchase a piece of land which is not owned outright by the seller, so a title examiner can find this information out before the closing.

The title examiner may also offer counsel to someone who has already purchased land without a clear title. This most commonly occurs when the property is bought using cash rather than a bank loan, because most banks require a title search to be completed before the loan is finalized. If the title examiner is also a lawyer, he may able to assist the owner in court to clear the title or to makes settlements with anyone who may have claim to the property.

Banks and lenders also rely on the expertise of a title examiner before they approve a loan for the purchase of property. The examiner makes certain that the title is clean with no judgements or liens against it within a certain timeframe. This is important for homebuyers as well, because a clean title will usually allow them to get title insurance. By doing so, any issues that arise later will be covered.

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