How to Find Out Who Owns a Property in California

Determining the owner of a property can be done in person or over the phone.

Whether you are getting ready to buy a house, put one on the market, or are inheriting one, it is important to know who is the legal owner of the property. In California, there are a variety of options for obtaining this information. Whether you prefer to research information on-line, handle business in person, or talk on the phone, finding the owner of a property in California can be done easily if you know the right sources of information.

Step 1

Find out which county the property resides in.

In California, most counties keep property records on-line, and the legal owner of a home is typically listed in these records.

Step 2

Contact the county government directly.

Not every county has its property records available on-line. In this case, you will need to contact the county government yourself. Your time on the phone will be expedited if you know which department you want to reach before you call.

Step 3

Do a property records search at the county website.

To search for the records, you usually need the parcel number, address, or property owner's name to do a search. In Orange county for example, a researcher can use one of these pieces of information to find the owner of a property, as well as the market value of the home and previous owners. In most counties, the tax appraiser or county auditor will be responsible for keeping track of property records.

Step 4

Have a California real estate agent find the owner for you.

The National Association of Realtors keeps a database of all its Realtors in the state of California. Realtors are licensed sales people who help individuals and businesses buy and sell real estate. Researching properties is part of their job and many will be able to help you locate the owner of a property, particularly if you are looking to buy or sell a house.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer

  • Telephone

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