Many homeowners are irritated that every detail of their home is listed online for anyone to see. This isn’t surprising. Many people don’t want their personal information out there. Usually, the public record will only include your name. Even still, people can still search for you. Many find this very intrusive, and its no wonder why.
You should know that public records regarding real estate are available even if you are not selling your house. Public record will also show any properties that are owned by the bank, or in foreclosure; many of these homes aren’t even for sale yet. Even if you have owned it for 30 years, the information is available online or at the local county office to view, should someone want to. To start with, what is public record?
Well, public record is any information that is collected and made public by the local (or federal) government. In most states, real estate public record will let you know who owns the property, the year it was purchased, the tax assessment, lot size, and other details. It will generally show what the current owner paid for the house and when. You’ll be able to see the number of rooms such as bedrooms, full-baths, and half-baths.
Many companies will give you a free property profile if you call the local title company. You can then ask for a copy of the deed and mortgage.
One benefit to having this information available to you if you are looking to buy, is that you can use this information to your advantage. For example, you can find out if the home is in pre-foreclosure. If it is, the seller is going to be more than willing to lower the price. However, without having had that information, you might have offered full price or close to it. There are also various title companies that will find the sellers name to show whether or not any liens are filed against that seller.
Ask your real estate agent to find out how long the property has been on the market. This will dramatically help you figure out whether or not you have any leverage in your offer amount, and how much of it. For example, if the home has been on the market for 6 months, the seller is surely going to consider taking less for it. It will also give you the opportunity to figure out what exactly is wrong with the house, as sometimes homes that have sat for a while have something wrong with them.
So, if you’re a homeowner, you might not be too happy that all of your information is posted online. But as a buyer, you should be pretty excited. You can be armed with lots of information that will give you an advantage when it comes to making that offer.