The Role Of Skip Tracing In Real Estate

Over the last decade, modern technology has become an increasingly valuable asset for real estate professionals. Believe it or not, there was a time when buying or selling a house was mainly an “analog” experience.

You’d talk to an agent, tell them what you wanted, and they’d go out and find as many options as possible. You’d whittle that down list to however many you could realistically see in a given time and geographic location and pick from there.

Now, thanks to the Internet, prospective buyers can “see” literally hundreds of properties in a day if they want to – all without ever leaving their house. They can take virtual tours to help get a sense of what it might feel like to live in a space.

Sellers can locate buyers halfway around the country with ease. They’re benefits that would have been unthinkable even recently as a decade ago, but now they’re so ubiquitous we almost take them for granted.

A popular trend in real estate investing, in particular, is the use of skip tracing tools. They’re an often overlooked part of the real estate process, but they’re essential for several reasons, all of which are worth a closer look.

 Role Skip Tracing Real Estate


What Is Skip Tracing? An Overview

In a general sense, skip tracing refers to the series of techniques someone would use to track down the rightful owner of a property they are considering buying. It’s a tool for traditional buyers, property investors, agents, and landlords.

Determining who owns a property is often more complex than knocking on the door and asking a few questions. Occasionally, you’ll deal not necessarily with the owners but with their heirs.

Sometimes, tenants may have vacated the property, making it difficult to determine exactly who you need to contact to take the next step.

Skip tracing real estate encompasses a wide range of techniques, including—but not limited to—the use of comprehensive databases, public records, and even investigative techniques.

What you’re left with is accurate, actionable knowledge of who owns a property and who you should be dealing with—helping to guarantee a hassle-free experience free from compliance and other legal-related issues.

Enhancing Efficiency, Effectiveness, And Beyond

If you’re a regular person who wants to buy a property but isn’t sure exactly who to deal with, skip tracing can help clear up any confusion. The technique is especially advantageous when discussing real estate investment.

Consider how difficult something like wholesale real estate can sometimes be. Here, you’re acting as a “middleman” between a buyer and a seller. You get the property seller to agree to one price and the buyer to agree to a higher one, and you keep the difference as profit.

For long-term success in wholesale real estate, however, you can’t just assume that interested buyers and sellers will come directly to you. There will come a day when your network is largely tapped out.

You’ll need to go out there, start with the property, and work your way to the interested parties.

Especially when you’re talking about distressed properties with real investment potential, finding out exactly who owns the home can be an uphill battle. Maybe they’re just difficult to reach in general, or the actual owners don’t realize the property is vacant because tenants have left without notification.

Regardless, skip tracing can help you cut through the noise and learn exactly who to talk to to get the process started.

Skip tracing can also be invaluable in several other situations, too. Including ones like:

Resolution Of Property Disputes

Obviously, if two people claim to own the same property, they can’t both be right. Skip tracing can help eliminate every record, document, and other piece of information that isn’t a verifiable fact, getting right to the core of the matter.

Creating A More Efficient Foreclosure Process

Even if a property has been abandoned, the law still dictates that certain people, including the owners, need to be notified to properly foreclose upon it. This is hard to do if you’re unsure exactly who the owners are.

Skip tracing starts this process as quickly as possible so that the home can be properly foreclosed upon just as quickly.

Identifying Potential Leads For Off-market Property Acquisitions

If you’re a real estate investor who wants to enter a particular area but no homes you like are actively for sale, you don’t have to let that stop you.

Find homes that you think would make ideal investment opportunities and use skip tracing to locate the owners. Have a conversation with them, tell them your intentions, and you never know—you might find someone who was thinking about selling but wasn’t sure how to begin.

Note that the last point would be beneficial if you were a real estate agent trying to kickstart your career. If you identified a particularly viable area with long-term prospects but nobody was interested in selling right now, that’s okay because skip tracing can help.

Research some of the homes in that area and start talking to people who are verified to be the owners. Let them know more about the benefits of selling and how easy you can make the process.

You never know who you might be able to convince, and once a few people start to sell, you might just have an avalanche of activity on your hands.

Ultimately, skip tracing is another invaluable technique that helps make real estate transactions more straightforward for everyone involved. Most buyers and sellers just want to get through this process so they can stop worrying about the mechanics of such an essential movement in their lives and start enjoying it.

 Role Skip Tracing Real Estate


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