When you set out to find your dream home, you might find it’s a bit more challenging than you initially thought.
Due to low inventory over the last few years, many home buyers have experienced this challenge.
Many potential buyers have needed to get more creative to get the home they want.
Believe it, or not some buyers have driven around neighborhoods looking for potential houses to purchase that aren’t even for sale.
Some will ask their real estate agent to write them a letter explaining their interest or try to contact the owner themselves.
But how do you go about doing that? Many will ask how to find a property owner. We will take you through the steps on how to find ownership of a property. Let’s dig in.
Ways to find an owner of a property you would like to buy
You may encounter a few obstacles if you’re on the hunt for the perfect home. For example, you may find a property you love, but it’s not for sale. So, how can you convince the owner to sell?
Here are a few tips:
- Do your research. Find out who owns the property and see if they’re open to selling.
- Make an offer. If the owner is open to selling, make them an offer they can’t refuse.
- Be patient. Sometimes it takes time to convince an owner to sell, so don’t give up hope!
Here are some best methods for finding a property owner and then contacting them.
Check your local assessor’s office
One of the most straightforward ways of finding out the ownership of a home is to visit the local tax assessor’s office. The assessor’s office usually has the contact information for everyone who pays taxes in a city or town.
You can also get the assessed property value and other helpful info while you’re there.
There might also be a website you can visit that provides this information too. You can do an online search to find out.
Speak to a local real estate agent
Real estate agents are another excellent source of determining who owns a property. Most agents will have access to the multiple listing service, which provides ownership information.
Ask the neighbors if they know
Sometimes you may get lucky and ask the neighbors if they have the current owner’s contact information. If they were friendly, they just might have this information to pass along.
Go to the local registry of deeds
Going to the registry of deeds will be a bit more work, especially if it is not nearby. However, it will be one of the more accurate methods. The registry of deeds will have property records, including who owns the property. You can also see a history of ownership.
A real estate attorney may be able to help
If you’ve tried the other options on this list and haven’t had any luck, you may want to talk to a real estate attorney. They may have some ideas for how to find the property owner if you’re having trouble.
Search yourself using the internet
If you have a smartphone, you may be able to find out who owns a property by doing a reverse search on sites like 411.com and Whitepages. You would just need to input the home’s address, which would give you a list of who resides there.
Several online sites purport to offer information on home ownership history. However, the accuracy of these sites can vary greatly. Sometimes, you may only get a list of family members or previous owners.
Additionally, many of these sites require you to create an account before accessing any information–and may charge you a fee for doing so.
Given the unreliable nature of the information on these websites, you may be better off accessing records from the assessor’s office or the county clerk.
You can also try doing a Google search of the address to do your own research.
Speak with a title company
A title company can research property deeds and perform title searches to find more information about a property. This step is part of the home-buying process, but you can do it early to get a head start.
Remember that a title search performed by a title company will cost a few hundred dollars.
Knock on their door or leave a note
If you feel comfortable doing so, you could try knocking on the door to see if you can speak with the current owner in person. If anyone answers who is not the owner, they might know how to get in touch with them.
Be courteous and respectful when speaking with whoever answers the door. If no one answers, you may want to leave a note with your contact information and ask the owner to get in touch if they would be interested in selling.
Finding the owner of a particular house is easier than you think. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to finding ownership of a property.
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 35 years.