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What is Skip Tracing in Real Estate?

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Many real estate investors perform skip-tracing before making a purchase offer. But what does skip-tracing really mean? And how is it useful to find out who owns a property?

This post is a detailed guide on skip tracing for real estate investors, and we will teach you how to leverage it to land profitable real estate deals.

A Definition of Skip Tracing Skip tracing is the process of tracking down and finding property owners. Determining property ownership is crucial for real estate investors looking to buy a productive asset that is visible on the market. In some cases, the owners of these properties are willing to sell, but they simply don't want the hassle of working with real estate agents and putting their property on the market. These absentee property owners often have other investments or more urgent matters to tend to.

Real estate investors who can zero in on properties that meet these criteria see this as an opportunity. This is where skip tracing comes into play. How to Do Skip Tracing There are two ways to do skip-tracing. You can do it yourself by going through public records or hiring a professional to do it for you. Here is a brief overview of the two methods. 1- The DIY Approach This is the most hands-on yet time-consuming approach to skip tracing. It involves sifting through local records to find property owner information.

The best place to find useful data is the county tax assessor's office. Their database contains a wide array of information that pertains to property ownership. This approach also includes searching for the property owner through social media and on Google. It is important to note that such DIY efforts tend to yield mixed results at best.

Finding the property owner's name and succeeding in identifying their address can be an enormous task when you have very little information to work with. 2- Hiring a Professional Appointing someone professional to do it for you may cost you some money, but it's a great way to save time and effort. The housing market is collaborating with skip tracing specialists to identify a property owner quickly and effectively. In fact, some professionals can provide you with detailed spreadsheets that contain a wide range of data in less than 24 hours.

With that being said, skip tracing specialists prefer to work with real estate professionals, and they often take orders in bulk rather than individually. So if you are a novice real estate investor planning on buying an investment property, this is not the ideal option.

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