With a local property search, there’s quite a bit you can learn about commercial real estate owners and their assets.
For the most part, across the country, you can search properties through online public records portals, or by visiting the county recorder in person—both of which are usually free.
The thing is, those records can vary from market to market.
In Maryland, for example, public property records come with very unique pros and cons.
Here, we’ll look at how you can run a Maryland property search, the lacking ability to search public records by owner name, and how Reonomy can help avoid the dead-ends you might run into with free sources.
Maryland Property Search
Typically, public records search tools operate on a county level.
One major perk of Maryland’s State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT), however, is that you can search public property records across the entire state, all in one place.
You simply choose a county, then search by address, property account ID, property sale, or parcel number.
You might notice one thing missing from that list: a Maryland property search by owner name.
So, while SDAT has very broad ranging coverage, the search functions on the site do not currently let you find properties by owner name.
From SDAT’s “Finding Your Property Information Online” webpage:
With that, we’ll take some time to run through how you can use Reonomy to search Maryland property by owner name, then show you some of the other information you can find using SDAT and other public sources.
Maryland Property Search by Owner Name
In the Reonomy Platform, there are eight different tabs of search filters, including filters for:
- Asset Type
- Building & Lot
Searching by owner name is quite simple. In the Ownership tab, there are filters for “Owner name,” and “Owner of record.”
You can use those filters to either search for a person, or for a property-owning LLC.
Once you get a list of results, you can dive into individual properties to analyze their characteristics and find specific points of information.
That could be information on the physical build of an asset:
Find out who owns a property, and access the contact information of true property owners:
You could also find out the commercial tenants in the building:
There’s also a tab showcasing a property’s sale transaction history:
As well as for the debt history on the property:
And lastly, you can also see recent tax amounts and year-over-year changes on the asset:
Maryland Property Search by Address: On Reonomy
Searching for properties by address is also a quick and easy search on the Reonomy Platform.
In the top-aligned search bar, you can start typing the address of the asset you’d like to research:
Upon clicking the address in the dropdown, you’ll be taken to a profile page (as previously shown), with different layers of ownership, building and lot, and transactional information.
Maryland Real Property Search
It used to be that you would need to obtain the public property records by making a trip to the county clerk’s office in order to sift through the information manually.
Now, most states have this information available online.
Maryland has a State Department of Assessments and Taxation, or SDAT, as we touched on above.
You can also use CourthouseDirect to find certain public records throughout the state.
CourthouseDirect Property Search
CourthouseDirect is an online hub for property records nationwide.
Using the platform is relatively simple. However, there is a $3 fee for searching through the public records.
The public property records search is a great tool for figuring out information about commercial real estate, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find out who the owner is or their contact information.
In order to search for property information using Maryland’s online portal through CourthouseDirect, you’ll need to select which county the property that you’re searching for is listed in.
Next, you would select “Property Reports” under Available Services.
In order to complete the search, you do need to create an account with the CourthouseDirect website, if you don’t already have one.
There are three account package options:
- Plan I is the most basic which allows you to pay as you go, document by document.
- TVP is the most premium plan which allows you to download as many documents as you would like, but there is a monthly cost of $50 per month.
In order to get your money’s worth, you would need to be downloading at least 16 public record documents per month.
SDAT Real Property Search
Another way to search for property owners and property information is to check out SDAT.
SDAT does require pretty specific information to result in a search, so if you’re unsure of any information with regards to the property it can become difficult to find the exact property that you’re searching for using SDAT.
Maryland Property Search by Address:
In order to search using SDAT, you’ll need to select both a county and a search method.
You can search by either the street address, property account identifier, map/parcel, or property sales. If you’re searching by address, the street number is not necessary.
A Maryland property search by address is very easy when using SDAT.
After choosing your preferred Maryland county, you can select how you’d like to search. In this case, you’d select the “STREET ADDRESS” search method.
If you are able to pull up the property and there is an owner listed, much like using CourthouseDirect, the property will often be owned by an LLC (SDAT is also only required to update its information every three years).
When a property is owned by an LLC, often you are able to tap into sales deeds that’ll show the changing-hands of a property.
Sometimes this can result in showing you who the owner actually is by name.
However, sometimes it is just a transfer between LLC’s leaving you still with no real information on who the owner is or how to contact them.
When you’re looking to buy commercial real estate in Maryland, it’s important to keep in mind the many factors that can make Maryland a difficult place for finding property information.
Not only can it be time consuming to sift through public records, but it can also be incredibly frustrating when, after sifting, you’re right back at square one with no additional contact information on the property owner.
Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation has the potential for being a bit easier to navigate than public property records, but only if you know the exact information for your property search.
If you are a real estate professional and looking to invest or buy real estate in Maryland, getting in touch with the owner of a property directly is the best way to ensure efficiency in your search.