Engaging in a real estate transaction with an unclear property title would lead to various complications, possibly including the loss of the property, along with the time and expense needed for any legal actions. Luckily, Southern Title offers a variety of property title search services for your benefit.

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A real estate title search is a process of examining public records in order to verify a property’s legal ownership, and uncover liens and other encumbrances. It includes retrieving documents that evidence events in the history of real property, such as ownership interests and questions related to the property’s rightful ownership. 

In general, a title search is performed by an attorney or abstract title company on behalf of a prospective buyer. On the other hand, a lender or other party that wants to verify property ownership and determine potential claims or judgments against the property may also start the home title search process.

During a title search on the property, the company or attorney will look into public records and legal documents to verify all the information. 

While it is theoretically possible for a prospective purchaser to do a title search themselves, we generally recommend against doing so. Someone who is not an expert in this field would overlook something important due to the confusing nature of legal documents, name changes, and rules of ownership while navigating records at the courthouse.

There are a number of factors that affect how long a title search will take. They include the type of property, type of transaction, the place where you live, and so on. However, in most cases, two weeks is enough time for an in-depth review of the title to be completed.

In most cases, you will pay from $150-$550, depending on the period to be researched, with longer periods costing more than recent reviews. However, note that the cost of title search will depend on where you live, the property value, as well as the company you choose.

A real estate abstract is a brief history of the real estate title summarizing the original grant as well as all subsequent conveyances and encumbrances associated with the property. These documents are necessary to make sure that title to the property is clear, making things considerably easier later on during the transaction process itself. 

Note that an abstract of title is not a title or title insurance. Instead, it simply provides a history of the chain of title for a piece of property. It summarizes the recorded documents that might affect your title, but it does not guarantee a clear title. Not all states provide abstracts for real estate transactions, but Louisiana does.

A property abstract consists of legal documents, such as:

  • deeds
  • mortgages
  • wills
  • court litigations
  • probate records
  • tax sales

A real estate abstract example would also include an abstractor’s certification that the title history is complete and accurate.

How to do a title search?

Checking the tax assessor’s records.

Searching for the property deed on the internet or visit the physical office that records deeds.

Verifying the chain of title.

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Conducting a tax search.

Determining if there is are judgments or liens held against the property.

Finally, our real estate attorney reviews the collected information to render a title opinion on the facts discovered during the research.


Use this form to order an abstract (property history report). All prices shown are estimates subject to final confirmation once property details are submitted to our staff for review. Most abstracts will cost no more than what is shown for each option here, but if your property research is longer than 30 years or includes unique factors that require more time to research and review, then costs will increase beyond what is shown here.

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