How to Find Out Who Owns a Property in the USA

There are many instances where you may want to learn who owns a property. You could be interested in purchasing or renting a house you have noticed while driving through the suburbs. Perhaps you want to say hello to your new neighbors after moving into a new home, and want to know their name first. Or you may be looking to get in touch with the owner of an abandoned, derelict property that risks attracting unsavory individuals to the neighborhood.

Whatever your reasons, finding out who a property belongs to in the US is not as hard as you may think. Here are the top six methods you can use.

1. Contact the Local Tax Assessor’s Office

Assessors estimate the fair value of properties in their counties in order to determine the property tax the owners should pay. As a result, they keep records, including ownership information, of all taxable lands and buildings.

A visit to the tax assessor’s office in the county the property comes under could easily get you the details you need. However, you must produce an accurate address for them to retrieve the records.

2. Visit the County Clerk

In the event you can’t find details about a specific property at the local tax assessor, contacting the county clerk is an effective option. They keep public records, including deeds that could help you identify the name of a property’s legal owner.

However, searching deed information could involve a small payment. You can check with the county clerk on this for more details.

Since most offices have digitized their databases, you might be able to find the relevant records online as well, depending on the county.

But similar to the tax assessor’s office, the county clerk may not always have the records you require or possess the most up-to-date versions of them. If this is the case, there are other methods you can try to learn about a property’s owner.

3. Speak to a Real Estate Agent

If you are looking to purchase the property in question, a real estate agent could likely discover the ownership details quickly and easily. They often have access to certain property databases, which regular people might not be able to check.

Besides, even if the property is not currently listed, experienced agents have excellent local contacts they can use to unearth more information.

4. Contact a Title Company

When you want to identify a property’s legal owner for the purpose of buying it, a title company can be of help. They usually get involved during the closing stage of a sale by checking and verifying ownership history records. But some may also provide this service at a fee before you agree to proceed with a home purchase.

5. Search Google

These days Google is a quick solution for any type of information search. It can also come in handy when you want to find out a property’s owner.

By the end of 2023, Google claimed 81.71% and 95.48% of the desktop and mobile search markets, clearly leading the competition by a sizable margin. There are several reasons for its search dominance—from its impressive indexing capabilities and powerful algorithms to ultra-quick search results.

If there are any mentions online about the property you are interested in, this search giant can find it for you in under a second. Its search engine result pages (SERPs) can include news articles, social media posts, public records, directory listings, and a variety of other sources.

To start your search, type in the property’s address, and Google will identify matching results in the order of relevance while prioritizing new content. When there are a large number of results or the first few don’t provide a good enough match, retry your search using open and closed quotation marks.

Sometimes certain online resources may contain the same address with slight changes. For example, they could have a spelling difference or display an old street name that is no longer in use. To improve the search results in those instances, it could be worthwhile to type the address using a few different variations.

However, keep in mind that Google only finds matching content from the internet. It will not verify the pages it displays on SERPs. Therefore, proceed with care when you plan to use the information you have discovered to make important decisions.

6. Use a Reverse Search Platform

Platforms that specialize in reverse address searches maintain extensive databases, which you can search with an accurate address. Nuwber, for example, has records of 118 million addresses covering all US states. The sheer scale of the databases is not the only reason many people resort to reverse search platforms.

For instance, sometimes, the public records you will find at certain government agencies, such as the local tax assessor’s office, might not be up-to-date.

In such cases, you have a better chance of finding the latest information using a specialized reverse search site. This is because many of them regularly verify and update the records they maintain to offer reliable data to their customers. Similar to Google, these platforms can eliminate the hassle of relying on others to find information on your behalf.

However, reverse search sites will provide all the relevant data in a straightforward report. So, unlike with search engines, you would not need to spend hours going through multiple web pages to identify useful details.

Having said that, many of these platforms will charge a fee for their services. So, check the payment plans and the information they could offer in return to ensure your money is well spent.

Wrapping Up

When knocking on doors, leaving notes, or speaking to the neighbors doesn’t work, you must find another method to learn who owns a particular property. In the US, the local tax assessor and the county clerk can often help you discover this information with publicly accessible property records. Contacting a real estate agent or a title company can also be useful if you intend to purchase the property in question.

If you prefer to search online yourself, Google and reverse search platforms are effective resources to uncover the name and contact information of a property’s owner without much hassle.