Advise on finding absent owner of property?

13 Replies

Hello, I am new to this and asking for advise on how to find the owner, or her relatives, of an abandoned house. I have reason to believe that the owner of record is deceased (not sure). Could someone advise me as to the best way to search for possible relatives who may have inherited the property? It has obviously been vacant for a few years and is very fixable. No one else seems interested, seems like a good opportunity. Thanks for any input....

You can also get in touch with a Title Representative and they can find that info for you. Realtors can do that for you. Its funny, I'm starting to thing that title reps might be the best people to know. They are a great resource!

It seems I picked a tough one to start out with. I have checked the courthouse records and have the owners name. Her only listed address is that property (vacant many years). She is exempt from property taxes in this state because of her age and there has been no death notice listed at the county level, so the property taxes will remain exempt until a new, younger owner is recorded, so it will not be available for a tax sale. I have reason to believe she is deceased, but no record of her death exists at the county and the state will only issue death certificates to relatives. I also checked the deed hoping to reach the person who sold the property to her. Only his name was listed, no address and there is no record of him owning other property in this county. I have tried all the free searches I can find and it has brought me closer to neither. Today I am mailing letters to people who live near the property asking for information. If that doesn't work then a skipsearch for relatives is the only alternative I suppose. Are they really accurate and reliable?

Here are a few ideas depending on where you live.

1. Check the tax collectors office to see where the tax bill is sent.
2. Check the public records to see if the house is in probate or foreclosure and if so, go and look at the files. They will have other people to call or write.
3. Call the electric company or water company and see when and where the last bill was sent.
4. Check and try to find an old mortgage in public records. Here in Florida they actually have the persons social security number.

go to intellius.com it is scary what you can find
5. Last resort, put a FOR SALE sign in the yard. If someone checks the house regularly they will call you. You just say your sign person put it in the wrong location and you are sorry. Then you politely ask, "is the house for sale, do you know?

Hope this helps

Last resort is to

flipflop,
Have you had any success? These ideas that people have said are all good. This is a tough one.

Marc

This is info I have been wanting too for a long time. Even though I can track down many owners of abandoned property, some are just mysterious, for eg, records will show that the owner still lives there etc.

BTW, how do you guys find out about abandoned properties etc. Do your counties have lists etc?

The customer brings us an address and through our system we find the owners, update his/her location and get a report back to the customer.

We also look for alternative information; Relatives, Associates, etc. This information is very effective when tracking a prospect seller.

Best Regards,

-Steve

Try your county courthouse web page. Mine has parcel listings, and if you have time, you can go through and search for absentees. Once you get a system set up, you can look at about 60 parcels a minute and find some absentees. This is how I found the adresses for my latest mailing. I got 200 absentees in about 4 hours. You can buy a list if you want, but I have hte time to spare as I go to school away from home.

Originally posted by "enjoidc":
Try your county courthouse web page. Mine has parcel listings, and if you have time, you can go through and search for absentees. Once you get a system set up, you can look at about 60 parcels a minute and find some absentees. This is how I found the adresses for my latest mailing. I got 200 absentees in about 4 hours. You can buy a list if you want, but I have hte time to spare as I go to school away from home.

Hi - what did you mean when you said you got 200 absentees looking thru the courthouse webpage. What do absentees mean? Are they owners of abandoned properties or owners in foreclosure or behind in their taxes or ....???? this is interesting, I've never heard of looking for absentees - good for you

Originally posted by "flipflop":
Hello, I am new to this and asking for advise on how to find the owner, or her relatives, of an abandoned house. I have reason to believe that the owner of record is deceased (not sure). Could someone advise me as to the best way to search for possible relatives who may have inherited the property? It has obviously been vacant for a few years and is very fixable. No one else seems interested, seems like a good opportunity. Thanks for any input....

County records - find out where the tax bill is sent to that is the person to contact.

That is public information. The county recorder should have that information available.

Have you tried sending mail to the person at the address requesting it be forwarded?

Or have you checked with the USPS to see if they have a forwarding address on file?

Try to see if there is phone number with the home, then call it and see if they left a forwarding number or maybe they took their number with them.

Sometimes the basic steps work best.

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