Real estate agents and investors normally have access to a multitude of information regarding properties – but what about when a property isn’t yet on the market? How do you find out who owns it and reach out?Rather than blanketing a neighborhood with marketing materials – wasted time, money and energy – going directly to the source is the best way to close deals. This list of five ways to find and contact a property owner will help you find the information you need.
1. Get the Address
Normally, homes have addresses clearly marked – but some neighborhoods or homes may not have house numbers readily visible. You can knock on doors, explain who you are and ask the neighbors if they know the address. Without the property address, you’ll have to use other means to contact a property owner.With the address, you can perform a public records search.
2. Contact the Tax Assessor for the County
Unless a property is owned by the city or township it’s in, someone somewhere is paying the taxes. Or not – it’s always possible the homeowner is delinquent. In that case, the county or state may look for them, too.And if the owner is behind on taxes, this could be a good time to be in the know – the county might foreclose and subsequently auction the property off. Depending on where the property is located, you might search through online property records. For homes or commercial properties located more rurally, you’ll have to make an in-person visit either at the assessor’s office or the local library.With the physical property address, you can search county databases. It helps if you know the plot, lot and block numbers, too.If it turns out the homeowner is delinquent, you may get lucky – they just might sell to you to rid their credit of the debt.
3. Do a Property Deed Search
Local officials always record property deeds, as they maintain these public land ownership records. At the local county clerk or recorder’s office, you can request a property deed search. Most counties have the clerk/recorder’s office within the county courthouse. Again, depending on if the property is rural or city, you might find this information on your own on the internet.The property deed also shows ownership transfers. You won’t just know who owns the property with the deed, but who sold it to them and if the property has any current liens.Plot, lot and block numbers also help in a property deed search.
4. Visit the Local Title Company
Get in touch with the local title company representative and ask them for a general FARM list – a focused real estate marketing list. Title companies keep this information on hand for local properties, and some of the info you can find includes:
- Property owner name
- Property owner address
- Property owner mailing address, if different
- Characteristics of the property
- Information on neighbors and the neighborhood in general
- What homes in the neighborhood are for sale, or what homes have recently sold, and for how much
Title companies in some states even offer demographic and public school information.Keep in mind, however, when you request this information from your title rep, that you cannot offer anything of value in return. Title representatives cannot charge you for this information. That would be illegal according to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA. But this rule applies to general lists (information already accessible in the public domain) only. If you ask the title rep to prepare a customized list, the preparer may charge a fee. RESPA rules vary from state to state and from title company to company, especially when you ask for information that’s additional to what you can find on your own, such as what’s offered at the county clerk’s office.
5. Use a Property Data Platform Like ProspectNow
As an agent or broker that depends on consistent leads of high quality, a property data platform with owner information is a must. And it isn’t just real estate agents, mortgage companies, and investors who can use software like this. Property service agencies can also benefit greatly by accessing updated records.Some of these benefits are:
- Nationwide residential and commercial property databases
- Ability to input the data to receive the most viable information for your search
- Exploring the leads you find and refine your marketing based on the insights
- Printing and mailing capabilities
How ProspectNow Can Help
Ready to see who owns that property without even leaving your office? The tools you get with ProspectNow are cost effective and help you analyze homes and commercial properties that are likely to go to market soon. We also help you find and contact the owners of properties with a lot less hassle.ProspectNow provides reliable data, like property owner information, that’s been helping real estate agents, brokers and investors just like you since 2008. The data you can get from ProspectNow is a lot more expensive on other platforms. By using ProspectNow, you will get more leads, close more deals, and make more money. ProspectNow is a vital tool for your business success in real estate or real estate marketing.