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Real Estate Records


While homebuyers may focus their efforts on finding a house that is large enough and has the right amenities, real estate agents and lawyers know that purchasing property takes more than just a quick breeze through an open house.

In order to ensure a piece of real estate is a safe bet for potential buyers, it is important that full real estate records are obtained. Without this detailed history, buyers may miss crucial information about a home that may affect their decision to buy and the price they are willing to pay for a home.

Investors will also want to obtain complete real estate records for any commercial or industrial space they may be interested in purchasing, as they would not likely sink their assets into a property with substantial issues or possible liens.

To ensure buyers are making informed decisions, real estate agents and other representatives should help their clients obtain a full property history including property tax information, encumbrances, history of ownership and any other claims against the land.

Property tax information can usually be obtained at a county tax assessor's office and should include the home's current assessed value. The tax value of a home should reflect current market trends, and while it may not be the same as the real estate value, they should be somewhat akin. Acquiring this information could prompt buyers to request that a home be reassessed, which could in turn impact the selling price as well as future tax burden.

Furthermore, a full search of property tax records will indicate if there are any unpaid taxes on the land. Because these delinquent fees will become the responsibility of the new homeowner, individuals should not buy without having this information.

A deed search should also be conducted to ensure that no other claims of ownership on the land can be made. This can be a common problem with foreclosed properties or homes that are being sold because of a death or divorce. A deed search should uncover any encumbrances on a land, and if found, those encumbrances could deter a potential buyer.

Courthouse records could help shed light on such situations, and could also help individuals discover if any other entities have taken liens out on a home due to unmet financial obligations.

While real estate professionals have needed had to deal with poorly designed county websites or visit the courthouses in person, they can now get everything in one place. CRS Data makes it simple for real estate professionals to get everything they need, which can make it easier for them to guide buyers and investors in their buying decisions.

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COLIN BARRETT - Tennessee Bankers Association

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