Using ‘Google Places’ for better search results…

As a part of our continuing effort to provide better service to our clients, we have taken the time to set up Google Places pages for each of our escrow branches in the Puget Sound area.

Recommend Ticor on Google Places

Click to rate Ticor Title Seattle on Google Places

What is google places?

In a nutshell Google places allows a company to “claim” their business in Google’s index and subsequently provide accurate information about the company including phone, address, website, hours of operation, parking, amenities, photos of the building, videos and more.

A google places page should give consumers a good impression of the company,  make it easy to find, and make it easy to provide feedback, and claim promotional offers.

The Results…
The result for our clients is that when they do a google search for “Ticor Seattle“, “Ticor Puyallup“, “Ticor Gig Harbor“, or any of our other locations, one of the first search results they should get is a street map with accurate information about each particular branch right next to it.

Ticor title seattle

A Screenshot of Ticor Seattle Google Places Info in Search Results

The Numbers…
When we first claimed our pages and filled them out, our main intention was to simply provide accurate info to google and hopefully boost our search engine presence by telling Google more about our escrow branches.  But we really had no idea what to expect in terms of views, clicks, and consumer search behavior.  And now that we have had a chance to view our page views and click metrics over a year, it’s quite amazing to see the numbers.

What can we learn about our clients / prospects?
When we log in to our google places dashboard we can learn valuable information about our clients (or potential clients).  Here’s a list of info that Google tells us about each of our Place pages:

  • Number of page views
  • Page views by day of the week / month
  • Number of clicks for more info
  • Number of clicks for driving directions
  • Number of clicks to our website
  • Top search queries
  • Where driving requests came from

What can we do to generate leads?
Like, and other location-based social sites, Google places gives us a place to provide offers, discounts, coupons, etc.. For example we can add a coupon to our places page that reminds people of the discounts we offer on title and escrow when orders are placed electronically or when title and escrow are opened at the same time, etc…

A good place to be…
So in a nutshell, Google Places is free, it provides us with a means of providing accurate business information to people searching for us, it helps us to make a good impression, it tells us a bit about consumer search behavior, and allows us to generate leads.  It makes good business sense, and that makes Google places a good place to be.

Have you used our google places pages to find one of our branches or provide directions to a client?

Let us know by leaving a comment below!

You look good when we look good! A new theme for

Woman Reading

We’re excited to announce that we’ve made a few upgrades to our blog here at After one year with the same look & feel, we decided that a facelift with a few feature improvements was in order. So without further ado, here’s a quick breakdown on how you can get the most from our new layout:

We Make You Look Good Too
If you’re on our emailing list, chances are you’ve read our posts and shared them with colleagues and clients. We realize that the content is what really brings value here, but sometimes the way in which it’s presented can make all the difference in the world. Now with a more elegant and upscale aesthetic, you can feel even better about sharing these articles and look good in the process! Read more

Real Estate Legal Descriptions in Plain English

Legal descriptions of property, those all-important components of a Purchase and Sale Agreement, fall into two basic categories: platted and unplatted properties. Of course, there are many variations in each category! For your reference, we have put together a quick reference with examples below.

Click on any link below to see examples of various types of legal descriptions & the maps that go with them.

Platted is a general term for properties where a subdivision involving an approved survey map and plans that describe each lot or unit and that are recorded with the county. Subdivisions, shortplats, and even condominiums are under this umbrella. The “description” part of the legal description is a sort of shorthand that provides location and dimensions by referring you to a specific parcel on the recorded map.

  • Subdivisions often have “Lot and Block” legal descriptions which reference one or more lot numbers, sometimes a block number, the subdivision name plus the volume and page that it was recorded under in County records. In some cases the legal description may reference a recording number rather than volume and page – this is common with newer plats in Pierce and Snohomish counties. Click here to view an example of  a Lot & Block Map.

Example of a Lot & Block Legal Description

  • Shortplats usually involve fewer lots than a full subdivision (or “long plat”). The legal for a shortplat will typically involve a lot number or letter, and the recording number. Often it will include the city or county planning department’s file number as well.  Click Here to view an example of a Shortplat Map.

Example of a Shortplat Legal Description

  • Condominium legals reference Unit number, sometimes a Building number, and the subdivision name with the volume and page that it was recorded under in County records plus the Condo Declaration Recording Number.  Click here for an example of a Condominium Map.

Example of a Condominium Legal Description

Unplatted refers to all the other lots that don’t have an approved plat recorded. (It’s never a perfect world so there may be some exceptions to this rule.) These legal descriptions are all about location and dimensions.

  • Unplatted legals typically reference the Section, Township and Range that the lot is located in, plus quarter-section and sometimes a whole series of quarter-quarter details. These numbers refer to the public land survey system that covers the whole country into square-mile Sections. They allow us to pinpoint the exact location of a lot. Click here for an example of an Unplatted Parcel Map.

Example of an Unplatted Legal Description

  • Unplatted legals may take the form of metes and bounds (distances or dimensions from point to point that literally describe the lot).  Click here for an example of an Unplatted Parcel Map as described with Metes & Bounds.
Example of a Metes & Bounds Legal Description

Example of a Metes & Bounds Legal Description

  • Finally there may be references to other features (shorelines, roads, existing plats just to name a few) that may help to identify location or dimensions.

If you have questions regarding a legal description on your purchase and sale agreement, our property information specialists are prepared to assist.

If you have questions or comments, let us know by commenting below.  Or Contact us today at 425-255-6969!

Also, please click to view our related article: What Makes a Real Estate Description “Legal”?

Keys to a Successful Escrow Closing

Keys to a successful escrow closing - have your ducks in a row

Getting your ducks in a row for a smooth escrow closing

Closing on a home can be an exciting and stressful process all at the same time. With so many potential speed bumps it’s important we make your closing flow as smooth as possible. At Ticor we believe one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by educating buyers and sellers as they prepare for the big day. In particular we’d like to highlight some of the simple steps a buyer/seller can take to expedite the process.  We call these steps the “Keys to a Successful Closing”.

Prior to Closing


  • Check that all conditions have been met by your Loan Officer.
  • Send the names of your lender and homeowner’s insurance company to your Escrow Officer.


  • Gather the following and deliver to your Escrow Officer:
  • Your forwarding address
  • Any existing mortgage information
  • Identify leased equipment
  • Homeowner Association information
  • Utilities (if they are to be paid out of escrow.)

Buyers and Sellers

  • Confirm with your agent that all contingencies have been satisfied.
  • Keep your agent informed of any vacation plans or times you will be unavailable.
  • If you plan to have your documents reviewed by an attorney, please notify your Escrow Officer at least 48 hours prior to signing.

Before Your Signing Appointment

  • Expect to sign at the escrow company one or two business days before the closing date.
  • If funds are required to close, be prepared to bring the monies in the form of a cashier’s check 24 hours before recording or wire transfer the same day as closing.
  • Have a valid photo identification available at your signing appointment: Driver’s License/State ID, Passport, or Green Card.
  • Expect the signing to last approximately one hour if you are the buyer and 30 minutes if you are the seller.

If you have questions or comments about the closing process, please share by commenting below!

Yours, Mine & Ours… Homesteads in Washington State

John and Jane Dough just got married and put in an offer on a house, but John’s credit isn’t too hot. As it happens, Jane has good credit, so Jane plans to buy it in her name alone. But, the bank still wants him to sign as well.

American Gothic

Can’t it be her separate property?

The answer is yes – but that’s not the issue for the bank. Washington has two separate statutes dealing with who must sign a Deed of Trust – one deals with community property and the other applies to homestead property.

  • Community property is acquired after marriage or after registration of a state registered domestic partnership and is jointly owned.
  • A homestead is where the couple lives or intends to live and it’s automatic (RCW 6.13.040).

Jane can own the property as her separate estate and in that case John wouldn’t need to sign the Deed of Trust – unless it is or will be their homestead. That’s where the other statute comes into play. RCW 6.13.060 requires both spouses to execute a Deed of Trust (and a deed for that matter) of their homestead, or else it isn’t a valid lien. It makes no difference if it’s separate property of one spouse. So, the bank isn’t asking John to sign in order to encumber any title he has – he doesn’t have any – but rather to encumber his statutory homestead rights in that property.

More importantly, if John doesn’t sign the Deed of Trust the bank would not even have a valid lien on Jane’s interest.

“The homestead of a spouse or domestic partner cannot be…encumbered unless the instrument…is executed and acknowledged by both spouses or domestic partners…”

John’s credit isn’t good – the house can be Jane’s separate property – John still has to sign. How is all this resolved? Well, typically the bank won’t insist that John be on the title, and won’t have him sign the note – thus avoiding using his credit. He just needs to sign the Deed of Trust.

Oh, by the way, the borrowing spouse can execute the Deed of Trust on behalf of the non-owning spouse using a power of attorney. In Washington, RCW 6.13.060 specifically allows this.

Yours, Mine & Ours Review Points:

  • Community Property is property acquired after marriage or registration of a state registered domestic partnership
  • Homestead is where a couple lives or intends to live (RCW 6.13.040)
  • A spouse or partner can own separate property, but if the property is a homestead both husband and wife or partners must execute a deed of trust; otherwise it is an invalid lien (RCW 6.13.060)