How to Become a Title Closer in 5 Steps

Research what it takes to become a title closer. Learn about the job duties, education and certification requirements and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Title Closer

Title closers make sure that titles are free of legal hindrances so real estate buyers can complete purchase transactions. This involves inspecting contracts to make sure that they have been properly filled out and making sure no parts of the contract are problematic. To be able to do this title closers need to be knowledge of title and related legal issues, such as tax law. This may require a bit of research on the closers' part. Finally, they oversee monetary transactions and the closing of a settlement. Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Education Required High school diploma, additional real estate and business courses
Training Required Most employers prefer work experience
Key Responsibilities Ensure titles are clear of money owed, retrieve public records to find judgments or liens, prepare claims reports for title clearance, keep accurate records for audits
Certification Certification recommended
Job Growth (2014-2024) -1% to 1% (for all title examiners, abstractors and searchers)*
Median Salary (2016) $42,422 **

Source: *O*Net Online, **Payscale.com

What Is a Title Closer?

A title closer gathers and reviews documents in a real estate transaction and makes sure that when a buyer acquires a piece of real estate the title is free and clear of any restrictions. A title closer often retrieves public records from a computer database or court files to determine the legal status of a piece of land or property.

Step 1: Research a Title Closer's Career Duties and Education Requirements

A title closer performs duties such as verifying if there are any monies owed on a mortgage or delinquent taxes on a property and review court records to find out if any judgments or liens have been issued. In this role, you prepare a claims report on the title to get any restrictions cleared. You would also be responsible for keeping accurate records for audits and insurance purposes. While no degree is required to become a title closer, completing courses in real estate, business administration or business law can be helpful.

Step 2: Complete Coursework and Certification Training

Many colleges and universities offer real estate title closing courses through their continuing education department. Since notarizing documents is an important function of this job, some institutions incorporate notary public training into coursework. You may also consider obtaining a Trusted Notary Signing Agent Certification, Trusted Enrollment Agent Certification or Trusted Notary designation through the National Notary Association. Eligibility requirements and procedures to become a certified notary vary by state.

Step 3: Get Relevant Work Experience

Employers usually prefer candidates who have relevant work experience for this career. You may prepare for this career by starting out as a title clerk or office assistant at a title insurance or real estate company. In these positions, you may assist an experienced closer by performing title searches, gathering legal documents and speaking with court staff, property owners or realtors.

Step 4: Familiarize With Real Estate Documents

As a title closer, you're responsible for all the documents involved in property transactions. These include the contract of sale, escrow documents, lien records, mortgage and lease papers, notarized affidavits and tax records. Banks, insurance companies and attorneys often use these documents to help with issuing deeds and mortgages.

Step 5: Apply for a Job

You may apply for title-closing jobs at a land development corporation, real estate agency or insurance, mortgage or title company. Public jobs with the government are also available, and usually require candidates to have more technical and engineering knowledge to perform duties such as mapping land descriptions and locating easements.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are quite a few careers related to that of a title closer. While title closers work to make sure titles are free of legal hindrances, tax preparers prepare tax forms for clients to ensure their taxes are properly filed and avoid problems with the IRS. Much of the legal knowledge a title closer needs to have about real estate and titles is something people may also find out about from a paralegals and legal assistants who deal with real estate. The responsibility of making sure documents have been correctly filled and are free of legal hindrances is a job done by title closers, paralegals, legal assistants and legal secretaries.

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