Have you ever wondered who owns the distressed property down the block from your house? Has the idea of snapping it up for a small price ever crossed your mind? Then you are not alone. In fact, many real estate investors employ skip tracing to identify the owner of an investment property or home before making a purchase offer. But what is skip tracing in real estate? And how to find out who owns a property? This article will provide you with a detailed guide on skip tracing for real estate investors and teach you how to leverage it to land profitable real estate deals.
A Definition of Skip Tracing
As we mentioned above, skip tracing is the process of tracking down and finding property owners. Determining property ownership is an essential step for real estate investors who are looking to buy an income property that is not on the market. In certain cases, these owners are ready to sell but are simply not willing or not able to work with real estate agents or go through the process of putting their property on the market. These absentee property owners often have other investments or more urgent matters to tend to. Needless to say, this presents a valuable opportunity for any real estate investor who can zero in on properties that meet these criteria. This is where skip tracing comes in handy.
Now that we have gone over the basics of skip tracing, let’s delve into how this process works.
How to Do Skip Tracing
Generally speaking, there are three approaches to skip tracing. You can either do it yourself by checking the county’s public records, retain the services of a professional, or use online specialized tools that are designed to find out who owns a property. Here is a brief overview of all three methods.
1- The DIY Approach
The first option is the most hands-on approach to skip tracing. Taking on this process requires sifting through local records to unearth property owner information. More specifically, the best place to find this data is the county tax assessor’s office. The database of these offices contains a wide array of information that pertains to property ownership. Additionally, you can explore various different ways when it comes to skip tracing. Examples of this include online property owner search on social media platforms and on Google. Having said that, it is important to note that such DIY efforts tend to yield mixed results at best. After all, finding the property owner’s name and succeeding in identifying their address can be a monumental task when you have very little information to work with.
Related: Where to Find Reliable Property Data for Your Real Estate Investment
2- Hiring a Professional
Retaining the services of a real estate professional can be a great way to save both time and effort when looking for off market properties. The housing market is teeming with skip tracing specialists that can help you identify the owner of a property in a quick and effective manner. In fact, some professionals can provide you with detailed spreadsheets that contain a wide range of data in less than 24 hours. With that being said, skip tracing specialists prefer to work with real estate professionals and they often take orders in bulk rather than individually. So if you are a novice real estate investor planning on buying an investment property, this is not the ideal option for you.
3- Using Specialized Tools
Over the past few years, a number of advanced real estate investing tools have hit the market. These specialized tools are specifically designed to facilitate the process of finding profitable income properties and doing investment property analysis. The Mashvisor platform is a perfect example of this. Thanks to a myriad of features, the tools that Mashvisor puts at your disposal allow you to streamline the process of investing in real estate. As for skip tracing, Mashboard will enable you to find property owners in a matter of minutes.
Let’s take a deeper look at how you can use Mashboard when you are planning on finding off market real estate deals.
How to Use Mashboard
Like all Mashvisor tools, Mashboard boasts an interactive and simple interface. More importantly, it gives you access to ownership data thanks to the property owner list feature. Here are a few simple tips on how to find off market properties and their owners using Mashboard.
1- Signing Up
The first step of skip tracing is signing up for the Mashvisor platform. Besides the aforementioned Mashboard, the platform provides you with several effective tools that will enable you to land the ideal real estate investment. You can even analyze properties right down to the neighborhoods they’re located in thanks to the real estate heatmap feature.
Start your 14-day free trial with Mashvisor and subscribe to our services with a 20% discount after.
2- Setting the Filters
If you are unsure of how to find out who owns a property without an address, then the filter panel will make everything clear for you. This is where you will input any information that you have on the property or simply on the area where you wish to find an off market property. This includes the state and city, the zip code of the area, and the neighborhood. Likewise, searching for a property owner by address is very simple and convenient. Once you have input the address of the property, all the other filters will auto-fill.
Related: How the Property Filters at Mashvisor Make Your Property Search Easier
3- Downloading the Report
Once the data is gathered, you will be able to download the property ownership information in a well laid-out report. Alternatively, you can simply access ownership data on the Mashboard platform.
4- Contacting the Owners
Mashboard goes a step further when it comes to skip tracing. Unlike other tools, the platform allows you to contact the owners directly. Make sure to combine clever real estate marketing with effective negotiation tactics in order to land the deal.
Related: Try These Successful Approaches to Real Estate Marketing
The Bottom Line
Thanks to the emergence of advanced real estate tools, skip tracing is no longer the tedious and manual process that it used to be just a few years ago. Using Mashboard will allow you to access ownership data in the most efficient way possible.