A few years ago, if you were purchasing a property and needed to conduct a property owner search, you had to hire an expensive lawyer or dig through boxes and boxes of courthouse records just to find property information.
The Internet has made it much easier to conduct a property records search, but you have to know what you are looking for. Some unscrupulous sites will require expensive subscriptions or contracts – and sometimes even fail to deliver the right information. Finding the right property lookup site is important if you want to save time and money.
Why Conduct a Property Owner Search?
There are many reasons why you might need or want to look up property information. Real estate investors that spot an attractive property or vacant lot might want to get hold of the owner in order to make an offer and develop the property. Roofers or solar panel companies might also want to reach out to a homeowner to sell their services. And if you are thinking of buying a home, you want to make sure that the person selling the home (and the property) is legitimate.
Finding the owner can help you put the pieces of the puzzle together. Luckily you can access property history public records on your own without paying for an expensive lookup service.
What Public Records Can Be Accessed?
Public records are records of marriages, births, divorces, deaths, and, of course, property purchases. County recorders uphold and protect this information and keep them transparent and accessible. The information is non-confidential. Online public records like Radaris often supplement this information with publicly available information like online articles and social media profiles.
Where to Find Public Records?
There are a few sources of public records out there, with their own pros and cons. Here are a few you could approach:
County Tax Assessor – Pros and Cons:
Property owners pay taxes on the property (if they are above board). While county tax assessor websites can be difficult to navigate, you might get lucky and find what you are looking for. This type of search is easier if you have a property identification number on hand, sometimes called an Accessor’s identification number.
The advantage of this method is that it is free, but on the downside, it’s very tedious, and there is little detail available.
Local Title Reps – Pros and Cons:
You can ask a local title representative to provide a general FARM list (Focused Real Estate Marketing) list, with some basic fields for search, including name, address, etc. Many of these lists are free, but custom reporting will carry a fee. The disadvantage is that you’ll receive a static list that might become outdated quickly, and you’ll have to find your own way of refining the list and finding what you need.
Mailing List Brokers – Pros and Cons:
You can use a mailing list broker for property history public records and other details, but it will likely be an expensive option. While these companies have granular details like email and phone records, they do not come cheap at all, and their data sources might not be the most up-to-date.
Professional Online Property and Public Record Companies – Pros and Cons:
Professional Online companies help you find exactly what you are looking for. The information is updated in real-time, and with a company like Radaris, it’s supplemented with additional information like social media profiles. You can also conduct a property owner search by name or address. You can filter, view all information at hand, and do it all from your computer or mobile device.
Usually, there is a small fee, but the depth of information more than makes up for it. It is the easiest and most hassle-free way of finding out more about a property or a property owner.
Conducting a property or property owner search doesn’t have to be an expensive and time-consuming exercise. You can use online resources to find the information you want, but you have to use the right source of data. Whether you go to a physical records office or search online, make sure you find the information you need at the right price.