Searching for a Title Searcher
By Erika Wilbert
Real Estate title searches are essential to the closing process, but they can be complicated and are frequently a cause for delays in closings. To prevent this, title agencies and closing firms rely heavily on title searchers to build reports quickly, accurately, and at a reasonable price—but often, this combination is hard to find.
When you’re searching for a title searcher, avoid issues and streamline the title search experience by knowing who—and what—to look for in advance.
How to vet a title searcher
It can be a challenge to put your faith—and your reputation—in a third party. How do you know that a new vendor will be a good fit? The 2020 Voice of the Title Agent report listed third-party vetting as a top business concern for title agents—and a full 10% of respondents selected third-party vetting as their primary concern.
When choosing vendors, consider asking these questions to be sure they’ll fit your needs:
Coverage. In which states, counties, and cities do they work? Do they have access to online records? Do they have experience with commercial title searches? Are they aware of local conditions, laws, and standards? Finding a vendor with both availability and expertise in a particular area is critical, especially for national title agencies.
Turnaround times. How long does it take the vendor to complete title searches in relevant areas? Do they base timing estimates on their historical, local averages, or are they simply guessing? One turnaround time typically shouldn’t “fit all” states and counties.
Pricing. What is the vendor’s pricing? Do they charge an additional fee for commitment typing? What about rush orders? If you don’t ask these questions upfront, you may face unexpectedly large bills later.
Communication. Does the vendor answer phone calls and return emails promptly? Who will you communicate with? If true pricing diverges from the estimate, will they wait for confirmation before proceeding? Do they provide status updates? Will they work with your communication preferences, so you’re not blindsided or bombarded? Ensure your vendors will communicate effectively with you, so you have all the information you need for your clients.
Products. Does the title searcher merely offer standard searches (e.g., current owner, full search, two-owner, updates), or do they also offer special searches (e.g., foreclosure searches, municipal lien searches)? Do they offer attorney opinion letters, probate/divorce copies, and other necessary add-ons? Multifunctional vendors save you time—and allow you to offer better, more comprehensive services to your customers.
Capacity. Does the vendor have the bandwidth to take on more work? How many of your searches can they handle per week before results become delayed or orders are rejected? If your company is growing in order volume or in coverage area, will you eventually need to find a new vendor? Vendors who can scale with your business keep you from constantly screening more down the road.
Workflow and billing. How does the title searcher accept orders? How do they bill? What are their delivery options? Do they integrate with your existing software? Remember: you’re hiring a vendor to make your work easier—not more challenging. It’s important to work with a title searcher whose process complements your own.
Do it all with Pippin
When you work with Pippin, you don’t need to worry about finding or vetting a title searcher ever again. Our network spans all counties across the entire country, so coverage is never an issue, and our feet on the ground make nationwide presence feel local. What’s more, we’re highly communicative, timely, and customizable, so we can meet every request promptly.
You have enough on your plate without having to search—and, in many cases, search again and again—for a title searcher. Working with Pippin streamlines your workflow and integrates easily into your existing systems, so you can spend more time serving your clients.
The best way to search for a searcher? Don’t search at all. Reach out today to learn more.