Hello and welcome!
Today we’ll be taking a deep dive into everything there is to know about a Title Agent.
We’ll be going into details about what is a title agent, different title insurance agents and title agent licenses, the educational requirements, and what you need to do to become a title agent.
Once you have read this article, you will get a better insight into:
If you’re interested in this line of work, keep on reading to find out more!
So, let’s get into it, shall we!
What is a Title Agent?
To put it simply, title agents work in the real estate industry, certifying the validity of various pieces of property.
They have to work to secure the title insurance in order to ensure that no harm comes to the buyer once the sale has been completed.
Additionally, they also work to guarantee a clean title for the property’s ownership.
What Does a Title Agent Do?
When a title agent is hired by an individual or a real estate firm, they work alongside different sellers, buyers, or even a title agency.
The sellers and buyers can be anyone like a closing agent, a certified lender, or a real estate agent.
Oftentimes title agents also have to work with lenders and banks to ensure a smooth transaction.
You can take on this job part-time for a flexible schedule in case you’re pursuing a high school diploma.
As you may be aware, real estate transactions take place all over the world, and not everyone can be an expert when it comes to the different requirements, jargon, and steps related to real estate transactions.
This is where title agents play important roles to help the parties navigate the entire process.
As a licensed title agent, you’ll usually have to work behind the scenes. Workload usually goes up, especially during the final stages of the property or home sale transactions.
The main goal of the title agents is to speed things up towards the closing date but in a proper manner.
The work includes:
Record verification: Working with abstractors to look into the ownership and history of the property title, including encumbrances and conveyances.
Scrutinizing unpaid taxes and expenses: A property needs to be clean in order for a smooth transaction to take place.
Any unpaid old mortgages, liens, or property taxes need to be cleared, and the balances are taken care of for a legal title transfer. This requires working with a title examiner.
Checking legal restrictions: The final sale can come to a stop if the property has leases, restrictions, or easements.
A title agent looks into public records to perform a title search and clears any of these before the title is to be legally transferred.
Offering insurance options: Once the sale has been completed, having title insurance ensures protection in case of any disputes or questions.
Title agents work with a trusted title insurance company to facilitate the process with a strong title insurance policy.
Additional Responsibilities of a Florida Title Agent
Now you know that title agents take care of real estate closings by expediting the process towards the final signing of the closing documents.
The tasks include:
- A licensed title agent provides title insurance to businesses and homeowners
- Performing title search to find any hidden defects
- Arranging negotiations to clear any and all title issues or defective land titles for a smooth closing process
- Partnering with an escrow officer, ensuring a safe transaction for the buyer by holding their money in an escrow account
- Working with underwriters to evaluate different aspects of the buyer and sellers finances, assets, and credit history
- If required, manage paperwork electronically to access legal documents
- Preparing, facilitating and recording all closing documents before the final signing, often working alongside a notary signing agent, and settlement agents
- Providing title insurance policies
How to Become a Licensed Title Agent
In order to become a licensed title agent, there are different licensing guidelines for each state.
Some states even require you to have an educational background in law or insurance.
However, the main requirement is to complete a special course and then take the licensing exam and clear it.
Even when you do get the title agent license, there are still continuing education requirements to maintain that license.
1st Step: The first thing you need to do is to check the licensing requirements in your state.
Living in Florida, you can call the FLDFS, Florida Department of Financial Services.
2nd Step: Most states, including the state of Florida, require that you take a preparatory course.
3rd Step: Apply and sit for the licensing exam. Taking the course beforehand will prepare you for this exam.
In case of failure, you can retake the exam after a certain waiting period.
4th Step: Continue to maintain your title agent license by obtaining continuing education credits by learning about new title insurance and title services.
These credits can be earned by taking extra classes offered by the state or title insurance seminars.
Requirements to Become a Licensed Title Agent
To apply for the Florida title insurance license, the requirements are:
- Be a legal alien or a citizen of the United States of America.
- You should have work authorization from the Immigration and Naturalization Services.
- At least 18 years of age or older
- Resident of Florida
If you meet the above-mentioned criteria, you can go for the license application.
Next, you have to go through the process of getting your background checked.
Applicants are also required to submit their proof of citizenship when sending in their applications.
In Florida, it is mandatory for all applicants to get fingerprinted for a background check to obtain a Florida title insurance license.
You will have to pay the fee for the fingerprinting.
Additionally, you need to provide a letter of clearance in case you have been licensed in another state within the last 3 years.
You will need to get a letter of clearance from the department of insurance of the licensing authority of your home state.
This letter should mention whether you ever had a license revoked, suspended, or denied when working or applying for a resident title insurance agent.
You have to complete 40 hours of state-approved classroom training within 4 years of submitting your application in order to qualify for the Florida title insurance license.
This course can be bypassed if you have been working for a title agency, title insurer, or attorney within the past 4 years.
You’ll need to prove that you have worked for at least one year, fulfilling the title duties, which include policy issuance, title examination, and closing.
Once all the requirements are met, you can take the Florida state title insurance exam.
What Are Some Title Agent Jobs?
Full-time title agent jobs can be found at title insurance companies, law firms, escrow companies, title companies, and title agencies.
As you move along in your title agent career, you can take on more responsibilities and leadership roles.