Skip Tracing for Real Estate: A Beginner’s Guide to Finding a Property Owner
Updated: Apr 7, 2021
What is Skip Tracing?
Skip tracing is the process of finding someone who cannot be located in typical places such as their listed residence, place of work, or other venues. The individual may have “skipped” town and their whereabouts must be traced to the present moment.
Using Skip Tracing in Real Estate
Skip tracing in the world of real estate is the process in which an investor tries to locate the property owner for the purpose of purchasing their property. This process can be done through a number of methods including researching ownership records, reverse phone searches or batch skip tracing.
If you are a wholesale real estate investor you know the constant struggle of running into dead ends when trying to locate property owners. As a serious real estate investor, you should be very familiar with skip tracing to get information from hard-to-find property owners. You shouldn’t waste time with direct mail as skip tracing can be a more effective method to reach potential sellers. Through this, you will be able to find homeowners that other investors are unable to find and consequently you will have better odds of closing deals with motivated sellers.
How To Use Skip Tracing in Real Estate
Some skip tracing tools can be easier to use than others. Different companies offer a variety of services including single trace or batch skip tracing for those who need to find a large number of property owners. The amount of information we need is usually very minimal:
First and Last Name
Other pertinent information
Once you have your list of potential sellers you can upload it to the skip tracing service of your choosing. Look out for promotional deals and be sure to compare prices. Premium skip tracing services will offer different prices. A typical single trace costs about $0.50 and a batch trace usually costs around $0.18 - $0.25.
Certain companies require your file to be in .xlsx while others require .cvs format. Once you have your list, you simply upload it and wait for the results. Not all skip tracing companies are created equal, however. You need to do your research on which one fits your budget and how well their customer service is in case something goes wrong.