A deed is a legal document that demonstrates who owns real estate. In the county where the property is located, deeds are recorded by county recorders or registers. Numerous of these records are now accessible online in databases that can be searched. Even though this has made it easier to determine who owns a online deed search, the process can still be complicated, so it’s best to be ready for a lot of searching.
Find out which parish or county the property is in. This information is necessary because deed records are typically recorded at the county level. A property’s county or parish can be determined in a variety of ways.
Going to the NACo website at https://propertyscout.io and using the “city/zip” search function at the top of the page is probably the simplest method. Simply press the magnifying glass icon and enter the name of the city or the zip code into the search bar. This ought to tell you everything you need to know, even with only a little information. For instance, the website will provide a list of all US cities with the name “Decatur” and the county in which they are located if you only type “Decatur” into the search bar. If you click on the link for your county, you should see information that includes a list of the county’s elected officials and a link to the county website.
Begin with the assessor of taxes. The county tax assessor will record all of the information about a deed that most people will need or want to know, including the current owner, sale dates, price history, and current valuation. Since the appraisal and valuation of property for the purposes of property tax is the responsibility of tax assessor offices in every county, they are among the first to be informed when a deed changes hands. This information is also one of the most easily accessible in any county due to the fact that nearly all property owners are required to deal with tax assessors as a result of having to pay property taxes. This is the easiest place to start, even if you need more information later.
County governments’ websites frequently rank among the least user-friendly. It is not unheard of for a person to thoroughly search the website of the county for an office that is part of the county government without success, only to discover that the link to that office is hidden in some enigmatic area. If, after looking around a bit on the county’s website, you don’t find a link to the assessor’s office within a few minutes, give the county a call to verify that the office is online and that the records can be searched.
Changes in wording shouldn’t throw you off, and look for keywords. Organizationally, the terms “tax assessor,” “property appraiser,” “property valuation,” and “tax commissioner” are either synonymous with one another or closely related to one another. If you see any of these, you should look into it more closely.
Find the section for records. Search for terms like “land information,” “land records,” and “property records.” Find the section of the page where you can conduct a search for property records by following the link for that. You can search by address, lot number, or parcel ID in most counties. Look for the house you want.
There might be more than one listing for the same address, depending on where you live. For instance, the index might show both 123 Washington St. and 123 E. Washington St. as 123 Washington St. Look at the assessor’s record for both entries if you encounter something similar. You will be able to distinguish between your E. Washington address and your Washington address because the actual record will be more precise than the index.
Look over the record. The assessor’s record contains all the information that the majority of people will require. The current deed holder, the deed holder’s mailing address, price history and sale dates, the square footage of a structure or the entire tract of land, and most importantly, the property ID and the type of deed the owner holds should be included in this information.
There are some counties that provide more in-depth data than others. Although the current deed holder is known by almost every county, the tax assessor’s records of some counties show deed holders dating back many years. Pay close attention to the information being presented.