Title Abstractor Job Description
Title abstractors, also known as abstractors of title, certify the history of a piece of real estate. Law firms, real estate companies, and insurance companies hire title abstractors to work part- and full-time shifts during business hours; they may also hire independent contractors on a per-project basis. Title abstractors work independently but function within a team-oriented professional framework, and ultimately report to direct supervisors. Title abstractors may travel to courthouses and elsewhere to obtain information about properties, but they generally conduct online research from within the office.
Title Abstractor Duties and Responsibilities
Title abstractor job duties vary depending on the real estate they’re researching and the availability of the documents needed to find and verify specific property information. However, there are several core tasks associated with this job despite those varying factors:
Access Title Reports
Title abstractors use databases and digital systems to access title reports and look up information about properties.
Title abstractors analyze title deeds and write reports based on their findings, summarizing relevant information about the real estate.
Title abstractors research titles and properties by locating courthouse documents and other property data to verify information on title reports.
Title abstractors print out digital deeds, liens, property tax forms, and other paperwork associated with specific parcels of real estate. They put this paperwork together in comprehensive property packages.
Title abstractors prepare grants, deeds, leases, and other real estate paperwork for pieces of property.
Title Abstractor Skills and Qualifications
Title abstractors use analytical skills to research properties and write title reports for parcels of real estate, working independently to verify property history. Employers look for the following specific skills when hiring title abstractors:
- Communication skills – good written communication skills are essential for this job, as title abstractors write reports explaining a piece of real estate’s history based on all available data
- Analytical thinking – title abstractors process information from titles and verify the history of properties, which requires good research and analytical skills
- Computer skills – title abstractors use digital programs, websites, and databases to access title reports, which requires good computer skills
- Attention to detail – title abstractors research and verify property details, which requires excellent attention to detail
- Multitasking – title abstractors multitask to work on many different properties and job tasks at once
Title Abstractor Education and Training
Many employers require title abstractors to have an associate’s degree, but some law firms and insurance companies prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. Some employers accept work experience in place of formal education when hiring title abstractors. Because travel may be required, some employers request that title abstractors have a valid driver’s license as well.
A brief training period is typically offered to new title abstractors. Training varies but usually lasts no longer than two weeks. While in training, title abstractors become familiar with the search techniques needed to verify real estate history.
Title Abstractor Salary and Outlook
PayScale data shows that title abstractors earn $43,755 in median annual income. According to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), appraisers and assessors of real estate earn $25.97 per hour, or $54,010 in median annual income. These professionals assess land and put a value on it, fulfilling duties similar to those performed by title abstractors. The BLS expects employment in this field to increase 14 percent through 2026.
Full benefits packages are provided to full-time title abstractors by most employers. These packages include health, dental, and vision insurance. Life insurance and retirement benefits are usually offered as a standard part of these packages. Full-time title abstractors also receive paid vacation days and holidays from a majority of employers. Title abstractors who are hired as independent contractors receive no benefits from employers, as they technically work for themselves, finding their own jobs and managing their own insurance needs.
Learn the skills title abstractors need, read industry news, search upcoming networking events, and find professional education and training tools with these books and websites:
Introduction to Real Estate Title Search: Abstractor Basic Training – learn all the basics of title abstracting from this comprehensive book, which teaches the essential skills needed to conduct property research
National Association of Land Title Examiners and Abstractors – search upcoming networking events, read newsletters, and find other resources for title abstractors at this website for title professionals
American Land Title Association – view webinars, watch training videos, use business tools, read news updates, and find upcoming events at the ALTA website
The Abstractor’s Bible: A Complete System for Searching a Real Estate Title and Analyzing Court House Real Estate Records – learn every step of the title-searching process with this in-depth book, which includes a searchable CD-ROM and information about using courthouses and public records to find all the necessary information title abstractors need
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