Quick Question - How to Find Absentee Owners and/or Owners of Distressed Properties

9 Replies

Hello again BP Fam,

I was wondering what I can use to find out the current address(es) and phone number(s) of said distressed property owner, should they not reside in the property itself. Is there some kind of online private investigation resource? I know it sounds like a sort of lame question, though I'm a noob

Also, is it wise to do a full title search BEFORE or AFTER my investor buyer sees the property as a "good deal"?

Thank You,


You should be able to go to your county assessors website and find the mailing address of the owner of the property.

Title search will be done by the title company after you submit the SIGNED contract to them.

There are a variety of ways but Listsource is a great option. It's inexpensive and you have total control over the criteria. 

@Colin Smith, the only issue with Massachusetts is that we have to use attorneys instead of title companies to run the searches ...

So basically once I get the assignment of contracts signed, I just go to an attorney to review the flaws?

@patrick Coincidentally I just heard about accurint for the 1st time last night watching a vid. Tho it's a paid subscription site. Like mentioned in the vid "can you afford to buy it" vs "can you afford not to". I thought that was great way to put it.

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Thanks Colin and Russell!! I'm soaking info up like a sponge. I'm MOST DEF going to weigh those options out!! #HighFive @Patrick good question by the way. I'm a newcomer as well. U guys ROCK

@Patrick Sullivan

My Process

  1. 1. Identify distressed property owner
  2. 2. Add him to my database (I use Podio)
  3. 3. Reconcile address.  I want to ensure it passes NCOA (National Change of Address Database) to make sure it gets to where I need to go and lower return mailings.
  • First spot, assessors database, check address there.  But sometimes this is outdated.
  • To double check a lot of counties and cities allow the payment of real estate tax bill online where the public can view.  I search "My town" + pay bill online in Google.  I see if you can pay tax bills in the area and if so, I find their bill and almost always you will get their current address.  By far the most accurate.
  1. 4. Make any adjustments in my database
  2. 5. If you want to find phone number, use yellowpages.com or my favorite zabasearch.com

Definitely can be time consuming and I use this process primarily for my DFD as the mailing address is almost always different then property address.  It's starting to become beneficial.  All it takes is 1 to come back and make you money for it to be worth it.

Hoping in the near future to have a VA take this on but it's what I do for now.

I've used peoplefinder.com. The reverse address search is pretty accurate.

I've had the best luck with Listsource, as Russell mentioned you can customize the list however you want. For what your trying to do I think thats your best bet.

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