Everything You Wanted To Know About An Abstract

real estate

Real estate can be difficult. Let Colony Title make it easier for you!

Real estate abstracts don’t need to be abstract (sorry, we had to say it!). In fact, abstracts are relatively straightforward and helpful reports. In the real estate world, an abstract is used to tell insurers everything that they could need to know about a property to help with preparing a title. What is included in an abstract and how can it help you?

What Is Included In An Abstract?

In order to prepare an abstract, the insurance company will be looking at:

  • Any deeds and changes in property ownership
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Easements
  • Open mortgages on the property


For a refinancing abstract, the title insurance company will look for a 24-month chain of title, or a report that reflects the past two years of a property’s ownership and purchase history. For a purchasing abstract, the insurance company will examine a full search of the property. This detailed report can include anywhere from 10 to 70 years of the property’s history depending on state laws and the life of the property. In some states, the purchasing abstract has to include at least ten years of history and at least two property owners, if they exist.

How Can You See The Abstract Before Getting Your Title?

All of the information that insurance companies use to prepare abstracts is already available if you know where to look. Check your public county records for certain pieces of information, like judgments or liens. Depending on where you live, this might be a simple online search away. Some counties haven’t quite entered the digital era yet, so you will need to visit a records office in your county to get the information. If you need an abstract or property search completed, keep in mind that it will cost a fee. All online searching that you do, however, should be completely free. It’s a good idea to keep track of important property information on your own as well.

A Title Company You Can Trust: Colony Title

At Colony Title, we will help you through the process of getting your property’s title and help you avoid the pitfalls of hidden costs while you buy your home. We are also well trained in identifying any and all errors in public records and helping you resolve them. We specialize in real estate title insurance in both Maryland and Washington, D.C., and we will perform an expert title search, check through all past documentation, and examine records for any fraud or forgery. For more information on how we can get you into the home of your dreams, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 884-1160. To get more updates on housing markets and how to get into your home, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply