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How can I determine who the real seller of a property is?

by | Jul 20, 2021 | Real Estate Transactions |

As you well know, not all property owners are families looking to relocate. Many times, properties are owned by real estate investors or even corporations that are trying to get rid of the property for a solid return on their investment. As such, the seller’s true identity may not be obvious, especially if they’ve listed their LLC instead of their personal name in public records. There are a few ways in which you can reveal the seller’s name before you decide to do business with them.

Use the Secretary of State

All LLCs have to register with the Secretary of State of the state that they are domiciled in. If you have a good idea of the state that the LLC is located in, you can look up their LLC on their Department of State’s website.

Often, these websites will allow you to see the name of the LLC’s owner and other officers. If not, you may be able to find their address, which you can use to look them up.

Unfortunately, people often invest in property across the nation. If you have no idea which of the 50 states the LLC might be based in, it may not be feasible to search through 50 different Department of State websites. In this case, you have other options.

Other public documents

When you perform a title search on the property, you will be able to look at several different kinds of public records. You can look at past deeds, land surveys, recorded easements and tax records that pertain to the land in question.

It’s possible that the owner has listed their LLC name in every public document since the day they purchased the property. However, sometimes they will also list the owner’s name or address, or at least that of the LLC’s agent. If this is the case, you can use this address to look up their identity.

Real estate transactions can be quite complex, and it’s important to know who you’re dealing with. Just because the seller is technically an LLC doesn’t mean you can’t unmask the true owner before you sign the final contract.