Skiptracing/Locating Owners of Vacant Properties

3 Replies

Does anyone know of any good sites to use for skiptracing/locating vacant property owners? I was hoping to find a site/service that might charge a monthly fee as opposed to charging $20 - $60 dollars for an individual search. Since I’m a newbie Bird Dog I need to minimize my costs when looking for vacant owners. I’ll be looking up an average of 100 vacant properties a week so cost efficiency is a must here. Anyone with alternative suggestions are more than welcome to throw in your thoughts also. Thanks!!!

Out of curiousity, I'm not sure how any data feed could tell that a property was vacant in order to give you those leads. I deal with a number of data aggregators--from foreclosures pulling info from Land Court--to new home sales--pulling from the registry of deeds--to mortgage companies pulling mortgage closing data. I also track absentee owners (presumably people who own property that they don't live at because they're renting it out, not always the case, they could be vacant).

What services tell you if a property is vacant? Or, are you spying a property that looks vacant and then pulling up the property record? Also, what part of the country are you in?

I might be able to help put you in contact with someone who can provide you the right data, but I don't understand how anyone could know who owns vacant property since leases aren't recorded anywhere centrally. It also makes a difference what part of the country you are in b/c many data sources are regional. Any thoughts?


I apologize for not being very clear. I bird dog in the Baltimore area. I look up abandoned properties at: and from there I review the tax records at: where I get an address for who I hope is the current owner and do a reverse look up. From here if all is well and I contact the owner then I set up the appointment with one of my investors. I guess it all came down to a bad choice of words on my part. Abandoned instead of vacant.

OK, I think I understand now. Then what you're looking for, I think, is a list of absentee owners. You can buy that from Karen Peters at They have very basic information like "absentee owner? Yes/No...Owner name = First, address = 123 Main Street...Owner address = 4410 Albatross Lane..." which should be enough if you have the street address, to find their mailing address. These lists aren't updated every day but they're generally pretty good and the names are cheap.

Depending on volume, which will be very low (by industry standards) for your case, you may pay between $0.09 - $0.20 per record. There are other local data aggregators who sell absentee owner info to Realtors for a higher fee, but it can have a lot more information in it like mortgage amount, date of sale, who their mortgage is with, etc. You can use that info to estimate how much money they have left on their mortgage, which can be helpful in your case. I don't know of any off the top of my head in MD, but take a look at for a regional example--better data but more expensive, $0.21-$0.65 per record.

The cheapest solution for you would be to find a Realtor in the area and log into the MLS. Your local MLS in MD is connected with MD-VA-DC and enables you to pull lists of absentee owners from tax records that includes their mailing addresses and full names.

Doesn't cost the Realtor anything but time (<5 min to pull a spreadsheet of a zip code, or to pull 2-3 individual records). If you use a Realtor to make any of these deals then I'm sure they'd be willing to help you out here.

Hope this helps!

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