How to Check a Property Title

How to Check a Property Title
••• courthouse image by Michael Shake from

When you check a property title, you trace ownership history of the property. Investigating the history of a property ensures the title exists and that the owner of the property has a legal right to sell it. A title search may disclose outstanding liens and prevent a conveyance of property. Make sure to complete a thorough property title search before you make the purchase and safeguard your property against future claims.

Determine the correct address of the property. Conduct a physical check of the location and find the correct building number and street name. If available, read an old property tax document and check the address shown on the form.

Visit the county assessor’s office and ask the clerk to verify the address and provide the name of the current owner. The name of the owner of record and the name of the person or entity offering the property for sale should agree.

Request an assessor’s parcel number from the clerk or a book and page number of the property deed registry. The clerk will provide you with the data.

Take this information to the county recorder’s office, often in the same office as the county assessor's office.

Begin searching for the title information in the county office's storage area. If the office uses a somewhat dated storage device, such as microfilm, the clerk will assist you in searching.

Search for the property title and any other information you would like to gather from the title.