Definition of "Abstractor"

Simone  Pietrunti Realtor-Associate® real estate agent

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Simone Pietrunti Realtor-Associate®elite badge icon

Christie's International Real Estate

An abstractor, or, most commonly known as an abstractor of title, is the individual that determines based on thorough research the condensed history needed for an abstract of title. They are in charge of reviewing the ownership of a property or parcel of real estate through the history of that particular property or parcel of real estate. The abstractor ensures an evaluation of all former owners, from the original grant that entrusted the property or land to someone to all the following conveyances, encumbrances, mortgages, deeds, liens, judgments, or other legal papers that affect the property.

What is an Abstractor in Real Estate?

A real estate abstractor provides accurate, summarized, and complete information about the property’s ownership through the abstract of title. The abstract of title is a concrete proof of ownership that can only be contested through another contradicting abstract of title.

The abstractor definition in real estate is the evaluator of the property’s ownership. Just like some assessors assess the property’s value, the abstractor abstracts or summarize the property’s past ownership. With the analysis of an abstractor, the potential home or land buyer can ensure a valid investment as the abstractor can verify the seller’s right to sell the property and if they are the just owner of the property. An abstractor, also known as land abstractors, abstractors of title, title examiners, title extractors, or title searchers, can spare a homebuyer from a property title fiasco.

What does an Abstractor do?

Dealing with a historic property without an existing abstract of title, an abstractor needs to go through the archives of that property and analyze any transaction, land map, mortgage, inheritance that changed the owner of the house, or legal dispute to verify whether the seller of the property has the right to sell that property. The abstractor often works with a tax assessor and local surveyor to check if the land and property are described correctly in the documents. They also check for existing mortgages or other liens that have to be finalized before the property can be sold.


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