Neighbor of one of my rentals passed away. As far as I know he lived there alone, how do I research and find out whats happening with the house, if the price was right I wouldn't mind flipping if it made sense. Whats the first step to take to see who actually owns the house now? It's been vacant for a few months with no sign of anyone being there. I'm a realtor but not super active in it so not sure how to go about this. :)
I'd look up how title was held, if not in a trust it could be a long drawn out probate process before anyone can do anything and there is even someone to contact.
You could request the death certificate from the county Viatical Spastics department. Whomever filed it will be your first point of contact.
If probate has been filed and started (Administration) you'll need to contact the Personal Representative.
Your obvious first step is to determine who actually owns the house. Bank owned? reverse mortgage? children?
Finding out who owns the property should be as easy as going to your county property appraisers office and look it up.
Step two, Clerk of the Court to see if any kind of probate has been started.
Step three, tax collectors office to see if its taxes are paid or if there is an opportunity to purchase a tax deed.