Find public real estate records by searching through local government offices. Each municipality has an official record keeper where property records are maintained, and all property ownership information is a public record. You can also search property records online through the Multiple Listing Service and any affiliated sites or through government public record websites.
Property records are usually kept through the title companies, a real estate agent, a county recorder, a tax assessor's office or the local courthouse. Many record searches require the address of the property to locate the ownership records. When searching through a title company or tax assessor's office, you may find the information using the owner's name. Title companies may also provide information on whether there are liens filed against a property owner or seller.
Liens, short sale amounts, other debts attached to the property or property tax records are generally found using the owner's name. A real estate agent can search the Multiple Listing Service for information regarding the property history, current and previous owners, purchase prices and other realtors who previously listed the property for sale. If looking to determine whether property improvements or additions were done legally, you may need to search through the local planning office.