Buying a property isn’t a one day job that you can get done with over the weekend. It needs a lot of time and mental investment before you can lock in on one property to buy.
From browsing through thousands of commercial properties, shortlisting hundreds and finally going ahead with discussions of disclosures and negotiations – the whole process can seem tedious at times.
However, it is all worth it in the end and the more due diligence you pay while choosing a property to buy, the better it is for you. Many people end up wasting a lot of time, money and resources by making poor choices while buying commercial properties online.
It is not only an expensive mistake but also can leave one fuming with rage and frustration. To avoid such inconveniences, conducting thorough property research on all the shortlisted properties is extremely important.
Being prudent in making such decisions and carrying out those activities is the best way to ensure that you get the best deals. Digging up as much information as possible about a commercial property you wish to buy is an endeavor that’s worth pursuing and one that truly pays off. This blog is an outline of how to search for public information about commercial properties online.
Read on and keep yourself at bay from making any expensive mistakes in the future about buying commercial properties online. Besides, this research and homework will also come handy whilst you negotiate the property prices with the seller as some sellers might try to conceal some important information from you.
Even in cases where sellers unintentionally happen to conceal some relevant information, your research about the property will keep you covered from getting cheated on. The information that you thus collect in the process of your property research can also be used in preparing the purchase contract.
Enough reasons to get started with a thorough Public Record Research of a commercial property? Let’s dive right in and learn how.
Matters of Public Record
Public Record searches about a commercial property can give a deeper understanding and insights on why the property was sold. The reason this information must interest you is that you’ll get a picture of the upsides or the downsides of property by knowing it.
For example: Let’s say a shopping mall commercial property is on sale because it is located in a place that is very hard to access to the walk-in buyers. Since shopping malls primarily are designed to attract walk-in customers, this property isn’t a great property to buy. If you’re eyeing at such a property, and understand that it was sold because it contributed poorly to all the business owners who had rented out its units – you may not want to buy the property too.
Another example is to know how many times a commercial property was withdrawn from the market and put up as a new listing. This again calls for your attention and you must get into the whys of such a transaction. Besides these red flags, due research on the commercial property also tells you how many times repairs and renovations were made to the property explaining the overall condition of the property.
Once you know the owner of the property, you will be more prepared to ask your questions and clear all your concerns that you may have with the property. It is always a safe bet as compared to the approach where you directly initiate a conversation with the seller and get sold in the process without having the faintest idea of being deceived in whatever capacity.
How to conduct a commercial property search in Public Records?
Now that you are convinced it is a great idea to conduct a thorough property check, here’s how to do it best. Property records are maintained in every city either at the county courthouse, cityhall, county recorder or county department. These departments are openly accessible by the general public and they provide information about the property you are interested in.
Generally, you should be able to find a person who will assist you throughout the process in the office. These Public Records of Properties should paint you a fair picture of the kind of deal you’re getting into.
The history of different owners of the property, the reason behind a sale and other pertinent details about the property. It is also a good idea to check with the federal court records if the owner of the property is involved in any kind of litigation or has filed for bankruptcy.
This information also throws light on how to deal with your seller and if you want to buy the property at all in the first place.
How to conduct commercial property public information research online?
The Internet is a huge place to find a wealth of information about the commercial properties in a county. Most counties maintain their records online and all you’ll need to do is to search for the property name and loads of information like the name of the owner, their tax ID number, and the details of the tax payment histories will show up. You can collect lots of authentic and reliable information from such government sites.
Besides these sites maintained by the counties themselves, you can also find many other websites where the information of customers is put up there. Most of these websites let you search for a property by area and locality – providing you details of the owners, reason for sale and many such pertinent details that become important whilst you decide to buy a commercial property.
What’s more? These websites also provide details of properties that aren’t for sale or unlisted properties which may be on sale at the site but the seller has decided not to list it on one of these websites for whatever reasons.
The insider information this website will have is something very valuable which you cannot find in any place else. From Craig’s List to eBay, search for “Websites to access Public Information of Commercial Properties” on Google and you should land tens of results. Be patient enough to browse through various websites before you make any decision of action.
Where else can you find commercial property public information?
Besides running a search on the internet and visiting the Public Records Information Departments of the government, there’s one more place you can find solid information about your commercial property. Real Estate Agents. Real Estate Agents are in the business of real estate marketing for a reason and they have something more than the already publicly available information to bring to the table.
Working with a real estate agent will help you source all the information you’ll ever need to make your decision to purchase a commercial property. These agents often subscribe to various proprietary services that offer valuable non-publicly available information in various formats. Real estate agents can work closely with various such proprietary service providers and their spider web of a network makes any information easily accessible and available to them.
From knowing the details of the owner, condition of the property, the reason behind the sale, cases of foreclosures or litigations to more serious pieces of information like the exact number of days a property was on the market for sale, the history of the owners, the original sale price of a property, the ups and downs or the variations in the prices of the property, reasons behind such variations and similar information can be gathered by your appointed real estate agent.
Even the most intricate details about a property like a mortgage history of a property dating back to 20 to 30 years or the entire tax history related to the property can be fetched easily by a real estate agent.
Basically, by choosing to work with a real estate agent – you can get access to an ocean of information and learn all about the commercial property that you wish to buy. It is a good decision to choose to work with real estate agents as their wide industry knowledge and expertise will help you make better real estate investment decisions.
Their wide working knowledge is an asset to you as you browse through various commercial properties and they can indeed help you out with pretty much anything and everything that revolves around real estate investments. They can get their hands on every bit of information concerning your desired commercial real estate property. The price you’ll pay to avail their services is thus worth every penny paid.
Especially if you are a beginner commercial real estate investor, the whole game and industry can seem very intimidating and overwhelming at the same time. Don’t let such weaknesses take the better of you, leading you to make poor real estate investment decisions. Choosing to work with a real estate agent is something you will not regret and the one that would truly pay off.
Bottom line: Whether you choose to work with a real estate agent or not, conducting a thorough Commercial Properties record research is a must. Beginning with your homework by looking up for such information online like explained above or by simply walking in one of those county departments to collect information is always a great idea and will take you a long way ahead.