Finding who owns a property is not as hard as it may seem. When I first started investing in real estate I couldn't find the owners of a property no matter how hard I tried.
Then, I found that there are MANY ways to find the owner of a property. AND, there are many FREE ways to find the owner of a property.
People who are willing to invest or purchase a property need to find information about who owns the property for a variety of reasons.
They usually want to find out who owns a particular property they are interested in, and they want to know the address of a property owner so they can contact him or her about any issues that have come up.
Many websites do offer free information, but they limit it unless you buy some sort of premium services. The services, such as AgentPro247, DataTree, and RealQuest PRO, give you the ability to check and see who owns a piece of property in the U.S. However, they ask for a monthly subscription to access their data and other information.
Finding the owner is an important step when you are buying real estate.
If you are at the beginning of the Due Diligence process because you want to avoid the risk of getting scammed or buying the property from someone who doesn’t even have any right to sell it.
And sometimes, the person who is selling the property even does not know they do not have the right to sell it.
They might be someone who has already been caught in a scam, or they might have lost their right to the property because they did not fulfill the property taxes.
Reasons why you would want to find out who owns a property
By obtaining detailed information on the ownership of the company, you will have an overall picture of the history of a property. Here are some of the reasons why you would want to find out who owns a property:
- Finding hidden information about a property is required by law and understanding all the aspects before purchasing is in everyone’s interest. You need the entire history of the property from the first owner to the current owner and the condition of the structures, which is why you must find the owner of the property.
- It can be useful to learn the various other development projects in the area that you are interested in.
- You may have come across an unusual property or abandoned property.
- You need to learn more about the surroundings and other environmental aspects of the property’s area.
- It can help the process of Due Diligence and avoiding any complications once you have purchased the deal.
- You need to find out the cost of any renovations so you will be in a better position to assess future costs and point out any financial concerns.
Top free ways to find out who owns a property
We have compiled the best ways to find out who owns a property. You don’t have to invest your time and effort in hiring a private investigator to find the information. You just need to know where to look.
Use Public Records to Find the Owner of a property
If someone owns a property, they should be paying taxes and the country’s tax assessor will have information on the owner and the property. Find the Assessor's Identification Number (AIN) of the property by using the public records.
There are many public records websites, which will help you to locate their office. You need to select the country code and see if the tax office for the country you have selected has an online property search database.
Then, a link with the information listed by the Assessor will appear where you need to click for more information.
After you can access the assessor's database, you need to type in the property address. The information about the property will be the AIN and the address of the assessor for that property.
Then you can access the AIN to the assessor’s office and request information on the owner.
Also, you can call 411 directory assistance to know the owner’s name and the address of the property which may help you to get a telephone or mobile number.
Alternatively, if you can’t access the property’s AIN online, you can also visit your assessor with the property address or any other information you have. They will guide you in the right direction.
Map Function in Finding Property Owners
The use of map function on property appraiser websites is another popular and free way to find the information on the owner.
The information on the map functions will allow you to find the address of any property by screening in on nearby properties and analyzing the units for further information.
This mostly depends on the site functionality and if you can click on the target units and find the required and detailed information or simply find the address and run your search query.
Ask a Realtor to Find the Owner of A Property For You
This one is the easiest solutions for finding the information on the owner before purchasing a property.
Most realtors are well versed in finding out the owner of a property in their area, and they can help you to learn the information on the property that you are interested in.
Some realtors even have access to a private database to find the information fast and easily. However, the ability to use this information depends on strong, underlying reasons for the search.
Talk to the Neighbors Since They Usually Know Who Owns the Property
Asking and talking to the neighbors if they know the property owner is a great hack for revealing important information about the owners that would be difficult to get from any other sources.
While you are assessing the condition of the surroundings, if you are talking to anyone or if anyone approaches you, be up front and clear all about your intentions.
Especially if the property is a house, you don’t want to start off on the wrong foot with people who might one day be your neighbors.
Send a Postcard to the Tax Mailing Address
This one is the most inconspicuous way of finding the owner’s information on the property. Send a postcard through the mail as soon as you get the mailing address on the internet.
You may get a reply and if you don’t, they may have forwarded the mailbox to the proper address.
Include your name, contact details, and reasons for contacting the owner, and they may be able to contact you later.
Use paid search databases to get the owner name and address
Many online search tools can be used to find property information and records across many states in the U.S.
These search tools make things easier for an investor or buyer like you and are better than an individual country or state’s respective website.
Paid Ways to Find The Owner Of A Property
Here are some online tools worth using to help you to find out who owns a property:
NETROnline stands for Nationwide Environmental Title Research Online which is a database with millions of property information and records which offer environmental, historical data, and aerial shots along with general data and public records.
NETROnline basically provides links to the country sites and lets you know if there is information about the property available there.
The site’s property data and information have become a standard resource for many real estate owners, investors, and financial institutions.
For additional information on the property, you can purchase the property data through the site. Only the environmental records, assessor’s office, and aerial images are provided for free.
NETROnline helps you to quickly see the respective state’s repository of public information and quickly find the state, county, and available database that you can use.
With the help of this site, you can search for property information and details by address or zip code.
PropertyShark is a third-party site that can help you to determine who is the owner of the property at a specific address. The service starts at $19.95 per month if you are searching within a specific state and $59.95 per month if the search is nationwide.
The site includes the ability to download reports of 150 properties, and these reports will include extensive information on the property, such as the details on owner, property characteristics, taxes, purchases, and sales history.
You can also get additional information on corporate-owned properties to figure out who the real owners are.
PropertyShark offers a free trial so you can get your first report exclusively free after signing up and analyze if the service meets your needs.
U.S. Title Records
The U.S. Title Records is a private site service that allows you to access only property ownership details with a minimum fee of $19.50.
The site provides you with comprehensive property details such as current owner, purchase history, sale history, property history, and tax assessor reports.
The service provides the results instantaneously and can be searched simply by entering the address and zip code of the property.
How to Find Out Who Owns A Property Potential Problems
The most common problem you will face in this process is that a few properties are not registered in online portals and some might not even be in the assessor's record.
Conduct some investigative work by asking around the neighborhood and surrounding area, and you can overcome this issue.
Remember that it is important to analyze the property from a realistic and upbeat perspective, but you cannot do it if you don't know what the complications and other aspects of the property might be.
Compiling an honest overview of any potential issues will make the process go smoother, giving you time to address any problems with the seller or owner upfront.
Finding the Owner of A Property Conclusion
Generally, we find it’s good to be curious about who exactly owns a certain property, whether it is because you are interested in the property or you have a specific reason to contact the owner.
Despite having everything covered up when a simple Google search reveals their name right away, sometimes it starts getting frustrating when we do not get the information we’re looking for.
Fortunately, we have many ways to track down the information of owners these days, such as:
- Public recorders
- Online tools
No matter which way you want to pursue, you will surely get the information you need.
Going through this article, you may have come up with questions about how to start your research.
Do not forget to share this information with your friends and family. They may be struggling to find ways to get the information they need or are in the process of Due Diligence.
This can be a huge gift for them.
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