Real estate investment can be lucrative, but first, you need to find the property owner. Off-market properties can provide a promising avenue for great deals on new investment properties. But in order to close deals and snag these properties, you’ll first need to find out who owns them. We have a general guide to finding a property owner, but read on for details specific to finding a property owner in Washington state.
County Tax Assessor
A common first step to find a property owner in Washington would be to find the tax assessor’s website in your chosen county. The tax assessor in each county is responsible for collecting taxes from property owners. For this reason, they need to keep records of who is responsible for paying the property taxes. Each county’s assessor will maintain its own website with a property search feature. These tend to be very flexible with search requirements, allowing some combination of street name and number. You can often also run a “reverse search” by searching for an owner’s name to see if they own any other properties. As an example, the King County tax assessor’s property search is here.
The tax assessor’s website will provide a lot of information such as the property owner’s full contact information, property transaction history, and any current liens on the property. This can be useful data for finding off-market properties the owner may want off of their hands quickly.
County Recorder’s Office
Your other option could be to search for the property deed itself. This will show you the current and previous owners of a property as well as any existing liens. Deeds in Washington state are the domain of the recorder’s office. Like the tax assessor’s office, each county maintains its own recorder’s office and website, and the records search may be slightly different for each. This is what the recorder’s office website in King County looks like.
The records search for the county recorder is a little more stringent than for the tax assessor. You will need the full address or, in some cases, the lot number for a property. You may also run into a situation where the deed is only available for viewing in person for a fee. This is especially true if you’re looking at properties in a rural area.
If Owned by an LLC
You may occasionally find that a property owner in Washington is not a person, but an LLC. This is more common for commercial property investors. But to make the best attempts at communication and make sure you reach the right person, you need to find the owner behind an LLC. Don’t despair, there’s always a human to be found behind the name of the LLC. You may need to take some additional steps to find them.
In Washington, all businesses including LLCs need to be registered with the Secretary of State. You can conduct a simple business search through the website and find who owns the LLC behind your next investment property.
Using ProspectNow to Find a Property Owner in Washington
ProspectNow’s combined property search database and customer relationship management platform turns your search for property owners into one-stop shopping. Find property information on any property in counties all across the country and access the property owner’s contact information in one place. Even find the name behind an LLC right through the platform.
But ProspectNow doesn’t stop at listed properties. Using a unique algorithm for data analysis, we will identify properties in your area that are likely to sell soon but haven’t yet hit the market. These off-market properties provide a great opportunity to find great deals and score a property before your competition does. Take a look at the ROI calculator to see how many likely sellers ProspectNow identified in your area.
Once you’ve found your next investment property, contact the owner by phone, email, or postcard directly through the ProspectNow platform. Save yourself a trip to the post office. You can even use the included templates to set up an advertising campaign that looks professional and catches the eye.
Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? Operating since 2008, ProspectNow’s data analytics and CRM tools have made real estate investors more successful than ever. Sign up for your three-day free trial and see what you can find in Washington state — or anywhere else in the country.