How is Skip Tracing Used in Real Estate?

How is Skip Tracing Used in Real Estate?

Skip tracing is a technique used in various fields, including real estate, to locate a person who is hard to find. In real estate, skip tracing is used by investors, realtors, and debt collectors for several purposes, including:

  1. Property Acquisition: Real estate investors use skip tracing to find property owners who might be willing to sell their properties, especially if those properties are not on the market. This can include properties that are distressed, in pre-foreclosure, or have been abandoned. By contacting these owners directly, investors may negotiate deals that are not available to the general public.
  2. Debt Collection: For properties that have unpaid debts, such as liens or back taxes, skip tracing can help locate the current owners to settle these debts. This is particularly useful for collecting outstanding mortgage payments or property taxes.
  3. Probate Properties: In cases where a property owner has passed away, real estate professionals might need to contact heirs or executors of the estate to discuss the possibility of selling the property. Skip tracing can help find these individuals who might not be readily available through conventional search methods.
  4. Legal Processes: Skip tracing may be necessary to serve legal documents in cases involving evictions, foreclosures, or other legal proceedings related to real estate. Locating the involved parties is essential for these processes to proceed.
  5. Tenant Screening: Landlords and property managers might use skip tracing to check the backgrounds of potential tenants to verify their rental and financial history.

The process of skip tracing in real estate typically involves collecting information from various sources, including public records (like property and court records), credit reports, utility bills, social media, and other online and offline resources. Professional skip tracers may use specialized databases and tools to gather and analyze this information effectively.

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