How to Find Missing Owners

Being a real estate investor can at times feel like you are really a private investigator. This is because making the deal happen can require many “detective” type skills. And, if you can deduce a little bit better than your competition, you just might get the deal.

For example, you notice a property that looks neglected and vacant. Sensing that it is a potential deal you look up the owner’s name on your local tax assessor’s data base to send them an offer letter. Upon looking up the owner you note that the owner’s address is listed as the same for the property you are interested in. Should you send your letter to a vacant house or should you investigate further?

I would investigate further. Here is why.

Six Steps to Find Property Owners

The owner may have become what I will term “lost.” Your job to get the deal is to find them. After all, you can’t acquire the deal unless you can bring someone to the table to sign the deed.

Perhaps the owner died. Now you need to find the heirs. Perhaps there was a divorce, foreclosure or a bankruptcy and the owner has simply abandoned the property. Strange, but it happens.

So how can you go about finding them?

First, check with your local tax collector. Are there taxes owed? If not then some one is paying them. Where are the checks coming from? Where are the tax bills being mailed? Even if taxes are owed, you may still have a deal that warrants further investigation as the actual owners may not even know they own it. If …read more