There are a lot of reasons you might want to know how to find out who owns a property in Washington.
Maybe there’s an old, abandoned home in your area that you’ve always dreamed of owning, or a house on a quiet, secluded lake you’ve always admired. Or, maybe you’re just curious about a house on your block. Whatever the reason you want to know how to find out who owns a property in Washington—like if you’re looking for investment property—there are plenty of places to begin your search. Your neighborhood real estate agent has likely heard, “Hey, do you know who owns that property out on…” a time or two.
But, the good news is that you can do a property search for off-market properties yourself. Whichever method you choose from those below, these are just a few ways how to find out who owns a property in Washington.
First, you’ll need some basic information to start your search.
What Information Do You Need To Find Out Who Owns a Property in Washington?
Typically, just having the property’s address is enough. If you happen to know the parcel number, even better. Now, if you don’t know any of this—maybe you only have a partial address—some databases let you search with just the info you do have.
When you have sparse information, narrow your search as best you can—it’ll help you save time.
Where To Start a Property Owner Search
Knowing how to find out who owns a property in Washington can save you some research time. Some of the below resources are excellent places to start but do require a little bit of effort.
in most places, it’s easiest enough to do a simple online search. Sometimes, this doesn’t cost anything, while some sites may charge a small access fee. The info you’ll be able to find and how you can find it is a little different from state to state.
One place you can begin your search for Washington property owners is NetROnline where you can search by county. The site then tells you how much you may have to pay to obtain your information.
Check the County Assessor’s Office
City Hall is a fantastic place to search as well. In fact, not only can you look up property owners, but you can also discover the history of a property, too. Depending on where you want to search, the specific office might have a different name than County Assessor, such as:
- Land registrar
- Property records
- Tax assessor
Three of the largest counties in Washington are King, Spokane and Pend Oreille.
- King County Assessor’s Office
- Spokane County Assessor’s Office
- Pend Oreille County Assessor’s Office
Unless you’re searching in a very rural location, most information is available online—in more rural areas, these records may not be available and you will have to go to the local government in person.
County Collections Office
Another idea is to look up the individual or company paying taxes on the property. Tax assessors or collections offices often have this information. Simply ask the clerk if he or she can pull the card data for the property.
This public records office often has contact information and address, but the only drawback is if the person is delinquent on taxes for the property, they may not have been keeping their information updated with this office. Outdated information often gets you no closer to finding out who owns a property in Washington. But, you will find out if there are any tax liens currently levied against the property.
You can try your search online at the office’s website but keep in mind that not all counties maintain online databases.
County Register of Deeds
The county register of deeds or county clerk keeps property deeds on hand. The actual name of the office will vary depending on the location. For this local office, however, you’re more likely to find an online database meaning you won’t have to physically go to the office to find what you need. There might be a small fee for the information and more rural areas are more apt to assess this fee.
When you find the property deed, it should have the signature of the property owner, as well as a full address and contact information. Just like the collector’s office, however, be prepared that you may not get information that’s up to date depending on how long ago the property deed was registered.
The County Title Company
If you run into issues in your search and you’re not able to find the information you need, a local title company may be able to help. A title company can provide assistance finding the property owner as well as let you know if the property has any current tax liens.
This option, though, does charge a fee—and it’s often a hefty one. A title company’s services typically cost hundreds of dollars. Getting assistance from a title company should be a last resort and typically isn’t justified given the amount of information you can usually find at the other options above.
ProspectNow Has Property Owner Information
Our commercial and residential databases house millions of entries for properties across the nation and our information is the most up-to-date you’ll find. Plus, with the assistance of our Likely Seller algorithm, you can find properties in Washington state that are likely to go on the market soon.
There are multiple ways you can find out who owns a property in Washington. In most counties, the information is freely available and online—in other cases, you might have to dig just a bit to find what you’re looking for.
Also, keep in mind that laws vary from state to state and between jurisdictions—there may be a law against public disclosure of property owner information. If this is the case, this is one of the only reasons using a title company may be justified. A formal search for the title can legally provide you with the information.
ProspectNow is a vital tool for your success in the real estate industry. We’re a trustworthy provider of real, reliable data. We’ve been helping agents, investors and marketers just like you since 2008.
If you’re ready to find more leads, close more deals and make more money, reach out to ProspectNow today.