How to Do a Property Record Search

3 minutes read

Choosing a home to buy entails much research on your property of interest. True, the MLS data can provide you enough information you need, but it doesn’t hurt to extend your search and look for the property’s mortgage records. Although not necessary, scouring for further information may lead you to discover certain aspects of the property that can affect how you write your purchase contract.


The public record of the property can tell you how many times the house or property has been withdrawn from the market and put back as a new listing. It also shows you how long the property has been owned by its current seller, how much is the previous mortgage, if the home has been or is in foreclosure status.

These information can be very helpful in helping you negotiate sale price or avoiding possible risks to delayed closing that could come from unsettled liens, for example.


You can locally check for public mortgage records in your city. Your county courthouse, county recorder, or city hall may be the ones responsible for the keeping and maintenance of these documents. Holding departments may vary by city or county.

Checking for the property bankruptcy or involvement in litigation are also possibilities that you need to check with your public records department.


There are various websites that offer property record searches. Websites such as the NETROnline has a Public Records Online Directory that allows you to search by City/State. It also helps you look for properties in foreclosure.

This website also gives you access to thousands of land records and deeds resources in different US states. The clerk or recorder’s website can also be a useful tool to find the information you’re looking for.


Working with an agent gives you an edge in finding valuable information that you can utilize to strategize with the selection and purchase of a home. Real estate professionals have access to a vast pool of resources which help them guide their clients. These resources include:

Online Databases Tax Data MLS Data Subscription-Based Online Services

Buying a home is perhaps one of the most important and expensive decision you will make. Make sure you get your money’s worth by choosing the right home to invest in. You need all the help you can get. Information found in public property records can help you ensure that a small legal glitch in your property of interest will not prevent you from getting a successful property purchase.

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