A Brief Guide on Skip Tracing for Real Estate Investors

Skip tracing, also called fugitive or debtor recovery is a process where hard-to-find homeowners or fugitives are located and are brought to books. 

The homeowners may flee from the town due to several reasons. Maybe they have defaulted in loan payments or anything else, due to which they have left the town not leaving much about their current location or where they have moved to. 

The skip tracing technique is often used by debt collection agencies, insurance fraud investigators, or some other professionals who need the homeowner’s current whereabouts. But what is not much discussed is that skip tracing can also be widely useful for real estate investors.

If you want to know how, please go through this skip tracing real estate guide to learn more.

What is Skip Tracing?

When we break ‘skip tracing’ into two parts, that gives a better idea of what skip tracing is. 

Skip- This term refers to the person being searched and it is derived from the phrase ‘skipping town.’

Tracing- this word refers to the act of searching the ‘skip.’

So, in short, skip tracing is the act of finding the current location of a defaulter, fugitive, or any other person who cannot be found in usual locations, such as their residence, place of work, etc.

If you have ever used social media, white pages, or public records to find the whereabouts of someone, you have already done skip tracing, but at a very basic level.

How can Skip Tracing Benefit Real Estate Investors?

In the world of real estate, skip tracing is often used to find the current whereabouts of property owners, who are likely to be motivated sellers. When you as a real estate investor are using skip tracing that means you are looking to find opportunities for investments, or great wholesale deals.

Some property owners, such as absentee owners are hard to find and you might send them hundreds of mails and all of them will return to you. 

In such cases, skip tracing can be a viable means to locate these property owners. 

If you use expert skip tracing real estate services, chances are that you’ll find these owners before other investors do, and can soon see yourself closing deals with motivated sellers. 

With skip tracing, you might be the first one to call an owner and offer solutions to help them out of a distressing situation. 

How to Skip Trace in Real Estate?

If you are a real estate investor, you might use skip tracing as a fast and effective way to locate the current whereabouts of homeowners. These homeowners are often distressed and you as a real estate investor are offering them help. 

The amount of information usually needed is minimum. For skip tracing for real estate, the information needed will be:

  • Full name
  • Property address
  • Phone numbers
  • Email address
  • Social Security number

Often, the out-of-state homeowners do not leave their current address in public records. However, if they have left their current address with the National Change of Address (NCOA), then it becomes easier to track them down. 

But the challenge here is that the postal service is not obligated to tell you the forwarding address.

This is when skip tracing comes into play. Professional skip tracers have access to records that you might not have. Luckily, there are hundreds of skip tracing services available that you can hire to find the current whereabouts of a person who has skipped. 

But, before you opt for a reliable skip tracing real estate service, you can also find the current whereabouts of a ‘skip’ from various social media channels and search engines. 

So, think carefully if you need a professional skip tracing service or you can do it yourself. 

If you as a real estate investor are using skip tracing there’s something for both you and the homeowner. You are providing a solution to these distressed homeowners. Also, you can cut a great deal with the homeowner, who can be a motivated seller. 

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