How to Get Real Estate Records With an APN

by Kelly Bowlin ; Updated July 27, 2017

The assessor parcel number (APN) is the number assigned to a specific parcel of real estate by the county assessor. It is used to identify a parcel instead of using the street address. It is not considered a legal description. Most county assessors rely on the APN to look up property records.

Request a Real Estate Record

Step 1

Request a property profile by contacting your local title company. All real estate records are considered public domain and can be accessed by anyone requesting the information. When requesting information, give the title company representative the APN, and he should be able to look up the complete public records on the applicable parcel. The title company representative may ask for the county in which the property is located. A property profile is a summary of the deeds and liens filed on a particular parcel. Most title companies do not charge for this service.

Step 2

Request property information also by going directly to the county recorder in the county in which the property is located. Some counties charge a fee to make copies of the records, but each county has its own rules. County recorders will ask you for the APN, which is the simplest form of identification for a property.

Step 3

Verify the information contained in the public record. Real estate records on a property aren’t necessarily accurate. Sometimes old deeds do not have a reconveyance recorded, and tax liens and mechanics liens may still appear on a property. These can be removed in a variety of ways.

Tips

  • If you aren’t familiar with a title company, your real estate agent should be able to look up the APN and provide the property information.

Warnings

  • Something recorded on a property is not necessarily accurate or enforceable. Any question related to a property record should be directed to a real estate broker, title company agent or attorney.

About the Author

I graduated with a degree in Finance from Cal Poly Pomona and have held an active Brokers License for over 30 years. I also owned an accounting and tax practice for ten years. I'm an expert in all matter relating to mortgages, accounting, small businesses and taxation, and investing.