Tracking down heirs

10 Replies

Hello all. Someone told me about a property in which the owner died recently. They really didn't have any additional info. So I went there and knocked on some neighbors' doors. I was able to speak to a neighbor who gave me the scoop. Apparently the heirs are 2 grand nieces who live out of state. They have not visited the house since the owner passed away 2 weeks ago. I informed the neighbor that I was very interested in buying the house and asked if there was any way she knew how to get in touch with the heirs. She didn't, so I left my phone number with her. I also left a personal letter in the mailbox stating my intentions. I mailed a letter too, in case they had a forwarding address. I looked online and found a list of relatives of the deceased. I think I found one of the heirs who has a social media account. 

So what do you think is the next step? Should I try speaking to more neighbors, contact the heir directly through social media (at least who I think is the heir), or should I just be patient and wait and see? Thanks in advance for all replies  

Tracking down people is called "Skip Tracing." Do an internet search for that or simply "people search" and a ton of sites will come up. Most will be pay sites. Even the "free" ones simply refer yo to a pay site. 

You can simply google their name and check facebook and linked in also. That is a cheap way to start. 

Ultimately you may want to pay a private investigator. That will cost you up to a few hundred but if you get a great deal it is worth it.

I'm pretty sure I found the heirs. My question is do I call them up or write them a letter or just send them a Facebook message? Or wait for them to go to the house and pick up the mail and find my letter?

I would suggest you do both...call and send them a personal letter.  If you have their phone numbers you can check to see if the numbers are a landline or cell phone by going to http://www.whitepages.com/ select "phone" paste the number and select the search icon.  If it happens to be a cell phone I have found that people will respond more to a text than answer or return a voicemail.  Good Luck!

Once you are in contact with these relatives, what's your plan?

How do you propose they sell you a property that they neither own nor are on record title?

Am I missing something? If the heirs inherited the property through a will, don't they own the property and have the title?