What is Skip Tracing in Real Estate: A Complete Guide

In this article, I will share, what is skip tracing in real estate, why you need it in your business, what they cost you, and some free ways to do real estate skip tracing that a few people know. I will explain everything you need to know about skip tracing and how to do it right. So let’s first understand what it is exactly.

What is Skip Tracing in Real Estate?

A simple answer would be something similar to this.

  • It is the process of finding property owners, who have abandoned their house, have a distressed property they are facing trouble with, and a vacant property they just want to get rid of.

When investors find a potential client, they first collect the contact information. Without it, it is impossible to approach the owner and make an offer. Skip tracing makes this work easy for a little fee or sometimes for free. 

But what kind of information this skip tracing can give us? It can give you information like the following.

  • Their current address
  • Personal phone Number
  • Personal email address
  • Their social security numbers, if any
  • And other useful information

Then you can start targeting that person and make an offer to buy the property. Without real estate skip tracing, it’s difficult to collect that info.

You might think it looks like invading someone’s privacy which most people don’t want, so is it legal in my country? 

  • Yes, it is in most countries. Skip tracing is acceptable and completely legal in the US till now.

You are helping that seller to sell the house. It is a form of help. But in your state or country, there are rules that you need to follow on how you can use that information. It is forbidden to mislead a seller in any using that information. Just check what your state allows and what not then you can act accordingly.

Read also: Real estate door knocking tips for beginners

How to Do the Skip Tracing the Right Way?

How to Do real estate Skip Tracing

There are many ways to trace a client, but the following three are most common among professionals.

  • Online Skip-Tracing Services: Many online services can help search for a property owner. Services like Skip Genie, Reonomy, PropertyShark, TruePeopleSearch, People Smart, and many more.
  • Public Records Search: The local county tax office has huge amounts of data and information. It can be helpful in tracking a property owner in your own way.
  • Hiring a Professional: The last one is hiring a professional skip tracer with some fees. They specialize in quickly tracking down and finding homeowners through the help of data spreadsheets and years of experience.

Start with the online search and then move below the line if you need more data to track down that homeowner.

What are the Costs of Real Estate Skip Tracing?

The simple answer is it can vary on your demand depending on the data you want and how often you plan to use the service and a single search or a batch search. Your demand will tell how much you have to spend on it. But on average, it costs around $50.

  • You may expect to pay $50-$100 per hour.

Some services will charge you money based on no of searches, which can be from $0.20-$1.00, and some have a monthly plan that allows you to search up to a number. But the main point is that the amount you pay will depend on how difficult the information is to find on each buyer.

Best Online Real Estate Skip Tracing Companies

Here are some best real estate skip tracing services that might help you. You can order a single or opt for a batch service. The below prices of these companies are for a single search which may vary over time.

  • Skip Genie: Credit-based search
  • Batch Skip Tracing: $0.20 per search
  • Need to Skip: $0.20 single skip trace
  • Belles Link: $0.60 to $1.00 per search.
  • American Tracers: $0.50 per search
  • Spokeo: Not fixed
  • Property Shark
  • Reonomy

There are hundreds of skip-tracing services, but these are the most prominent ones in the USA.

How to Do Skip Tracing for Free?

How to Do Skip Tracing for Free

Yes, there are some ways to do this real estate skip tracing for free. But it may have been difficult for you. You can use them to find the property owner’s contact information, property address, mailing address, phone number, email address, and other helpful information. Here is the list of those free ways to track an owner.

  • Ask the neighbor
  • The postal service
  • Search social media account
  • All the Tax and Death records
  • Free skip tracing websites

But first, look at the property’s owner at your local government office and then use these ideas to track them down.

When Exactly do Investors Use Skip Tracing?

Investors use skip-tracing services to search for owners whose information is not available.

  • There are many skip tracing methods. Narrow down your goal before deciding which one to use.

If you are only looking for basic information, then an online search will do the work, but for correct details and more info about the owner, you should use it.

What to Do Next?

The most common answer is its time to direct mail, real estate door knocking, and other lead generation methods to attract the client’s interest. Although, you can call them directly if you have the no.

  • But before you call and discuss the purchase of their property, have additional property details on hand.

The data you gather through these services will tell you the best way to reach that property owner and what might work best.

Last Words

Now you tell me what is skip tracing in real estate? I think you have got the answer and how to do it properly. You also know it is legal. You can trace someone for free. If you take those services, how much it may cost you? You now know everything about skip tracing in real estate.

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