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How to Become a Real Estate Title Closer
As professionals who ensure that prospective buyers of land and buildings receive clean titles, title closers have an intricate understanding of real estate transactions. Their knowledge of federal and state laws governing the real estate industry is excellent, as is their grasp of title insurance and mortgage lending practices. A title closing career is suitable for individuals who are good at acquiring and analyzing information.
The first step to becoming a real estate title closer is to pursue formal training. Hofstra University in New York, for instance, offers a certificate program in real estate title closing that gives a sound preparation for the job. The program familiarizes you with real estate documents and concepts such as purchase and sale agreements and deeds of trust, mortgage taxes, and title search best practices. Some colleges, such as Broward College in Florida, also offer associate degrees in paralegal studies with coursework in title closing.
Learn the Skills
Title closing requires excellent analytical and organizational skills and the ability to pay close attention to details. You must gather and analyze a property’s current ownership, tax and insurance information, as well as building compliance letters. When you cannot verify the authenticity of a document or gather sufficient property information, you must employ superb decision-making skills to determine whether to clear a title. Effective verbal and written communication skills are also important, because you have to interview potential property sellers and buyers, and prepare clear title closing documents.
Get Licensed and Demonstrate Professionalism
Although several states don’t regulate the practice of title closers as of the time of publication, others -- such as Minnesota and Iowa -- issue licenses. Prospective licensees generally must pay a license fee and successfully complete a state-administered title closing course. Since the American Land Title Association doesn’t offer individual memberships, you can join a regional professional association to show your professional standing to potential employers and clients. Real estate title closers in California, for example, can join the California Land Title Association as affiliate members.
Beginning real estate title closers can find jobs in title insurance companies, law firms, real estate companies, title closing agencies and mortgage brokerages. After gaining several years of experience in the field and developing some business acumen, you may be able to move into self-employment by establishing your own title closing agency. You can then sign up your company with ALTA to receive a company license and membership certificate. These credentials will improve your company's ability to attract clients.
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.
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