Skip tracing, in general terms, is the process of finding a person, such as a fugitive, who cannot be located in typical places like their residence, or work. In real estate, it is used to locate homeowners, usually in cases of uninhabited or abandoned houses.
Skip tracing services for real estate investors
Picture this: you see a house that looks abandoned or one that, even though is in good condition, is uninhabited. The area where it is located is great and you can’t help but feel it would look great in your real estate portfolio. The owner, however, is nowhere to be found. Even worse, at first look, there’s no hint of who the owner is. Here is where skip tracing services for real estate investors can help.
What information can you find through skip tracing?
In real estate, skip tracing is pretty straight forward and will help you find the most useful information so you can contact the potential sellers:
- full name;
- property address;
- phone number;
- email address;
- social security number.
If the owner is an LLC, skip tracing will help you find information on the owners as well.
Can you find all this on your own? You might, but it is not a guarantee. For instance, in most cases, absentee owners don’t leave behind a new address where they can be contacted so chances are you won’t find them listed in a phonebook. If they have a forwarding address in the National Change of Address (NCOA), you might be able to find them.
But then again, the USPS is under no obligation to tell you what the address is. There might be a way around this as well, by sending a letter to the last known address. Add a request to have the letter returned to you instead of having it forwarded automatically. If the person you’re looking for is in the NCOA, you have their new address. If they aren’t, things get more complicated, and you’ll need to use skip tracing services to find your leads.
Is skip tracing legal?
Yes, it is legal in the United States. Of course, you need to be very clear on the reasons you’re using skip tracing and the methods. You probably imagine that, but using illegal methods or violence to find someone isn’t allowed. Also, make sure you don’t go against other legal requirements. For instance, don’t call someone who is on the National Do Not Call Registry.
If you’re unsure the methods you have in mind are legal, you’re probably safer working with a skip tracing company, as they are up-to-date with what can be and what cannot be done. For instance, Best Skip Tracer provides skip tracing services for real estate investors and will help you find the potential sellers in no time in a completely legal and safe manner.
Skip tracing in real estate is a simple, yet helpful tool when you need to find absentee owners of homes that interest you. It helps you bypass legal challenges you may otherwise encounter if you were to do things on your own, by searching for people in more traditional ways. It can also help find people who have no current known addresses and it makes contacting potential sellers much easier and faster than a direct marketing approach would.