How to Check Who Owns a Property for FREE in 2020

How to Find Out Who Owns a Property

Who Owns a Property? How can I check who owns a property? How to determine who owns a property?

I’m going to show you how you can check who owns a property, a parcel of land, for free! You can do this search online, or with a phone call. It only takes a few minutes and is the most important thing you need to check when going through your land-buying checklist.

How To Check Who Owns A Property for FREE

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I’m going to share with you the first question in our land buying Due Diligence checklist, and answer the ONE question that should be at the very top of your Due Diligence checklist: Who Owns the Land?

If you have any questions on the content in this post, leave a comment below and I will reply with your answer.

Can You Check Who Owns a Property?

Ok, so let’s get started. There are multiple ways you can check and see who owns a piece of land in the US. A couple of services like AgentPro247, DataTree, RealQuest PRO, give you this ability. These are very useful services! But, normally you need a monthly subscription to access their data.

And that’s great if you’re a land investor or have a career in real estate. But what if you don’t? What if you’re just an average Joe who wants to buy land? If you are a Joe, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered because this method I’m going to show you is FREE.

So I’m going to use an example property here, in Costilla County Colorado. I don’t own this property, in fact, I don’t know who owns it, but we’re going to find out!

How Do I Find out Who Owns a Property?

It is so important that you do this right at the beginning of your Due Diligence process because you could get caught in a scam or be buying property from someone who doesn’t have the right to sell it. And that person may not even know that they don’t have the right to sell it. They might have been caught in a scam themselves, or they might have lost the property because they didn’t keep up with the property taxes.

If you want to make sure that you buy your next property correctly, meaning you buy it from the current owner and the title of the property gets transferred successfully to you, you need to check and see who is listed as the current owner.

You will need 2 things to find out who owns a piece of land.

  1. You need to know the county that the land is in, so in our case that is Costilla County.
  2. You will need the parcel number.
Craigslist Costilla Property Search Example

If you found a piece of property you’re thinking about buying on any of the Land sites, Craigslist, even Facebook Marketplace, you can get the parcel number right from the listing or just ask the seller and they will be able to provide you with that info.

Note: If the seller does not have the parcel number or cannot get it for you – that is a big red flag. It increases the likelihood of that seller being a scam or not having the rights to actually sell you that property.

How to Check Who Owns a Property (for FREE!)?

Okay, now, we need to find the Assessor’s page for the County, and see if they have an online parcel search.

I’m going to head over to google here and type in ‘Costilla County parcel search’.

Every county page will be different. You want to look for keywords on the Assessor’s page such as ‘online parcel search’ or ‘Assessor parcel search’. Here is Costilla County’s Assessor page. I’m going to click on the link that says ‘County Assessor Property Search‘. On the page that follows, you will need to accept the County’s disclaimer.

And here is Costilla County’s Assessor online database. So now you’re going to need that second piece of information – the parcel number (remember for our example the parcel number is 70273760). I’ll paste that in the ‘Parcel Number’ box and click ‘Search’.

Okay so that’s the parcel number we typed in and searched for and here’s our result.

It looks like our example property is owned by a gentleman of the name Larry Zappanati.

Costilla County Assessor Online Database Example

And a great benefit of Costilla County’s Assessor database is that you can actually click on these hyperlinked texts to see the individuals involved in the transaction (and when they bought the property – even how much they paid for it!), detailed owner information, assessment history, tax history, and land details.

If the piece of property you’re looking to buy is in a County that does not have an online database, you can always call the county’s Assessor’s office and give them the parcel number. They will be able to look up this ownership information for you.

How Do I Know Who Owns a Property?

One thing to keep in mind though is that the Assessor can take several weeks to update their ownership information. So if you’re hoping to buy from someone who insists that they have title to the land, ask them to provide you a copy of their recorded deed.

If it was very recent, give it a couple of weeks a see if the Assessor’s page gets updated before you move forward with your land purchase. You can also call the Assessor’s office and ask them to check for you. Even if their online database is pending changes, they should have the most current information in their office.

Find Out Who Owns a Property for Free

That is the first step on your Due Diligence checklist when buying land – checking who owns the property. And now you know how to do that for FREE.

The next Due Diligence item on your checklist should be: What are the Property Back Taxes and Debts Owed? I’m going to go over how to check that in part 2 of this video and blog series.

If you enjoyed this post make sure you like it, share it, tell your friends about it, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you’re the first to know when the next video in this Due Diligence series is published. By the end of this series, you will have a comprehensive checklist of items you need to check before you buy any piece of land.

If you have any questions leave a comment below I’ll make sure I answer them and help you out. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll talk to you soon.


Want Your Own Step-By-Step Guide of How to Check Who Owns a Property?

You can get yourself it for free – just fill out the form below!

Download Your FREE "Check Who Owns a Property" Step-by-Step Guide Below

Just put in your name and email, click "Download" and you will have access to the free step-by-step guide right away.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The information in this article should not be interpreted as legal advice. I’m not a lawyer, and if you’re considering buying land I recommend getting help from a paralegal or lawyer to find out what your options are. It can be difficult and overwhelming to do a proper Title Search, especially to someone without experience. To be certain of what rights are included with your property, a local title agency or paralegal can help you. Leasing rights and determining access can sometimes escalate into a very difficult and troubling situation, so it’s best to get professional advice.

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