For brokers, investors, insurance providers, service providers, and other professionals, commercial real estate analysis is a major step in identifying the right property owners to connect with.
But a major part of finding the owners to connect with is also understanding the current standing and intent of an owner: what do they own? Have they bought something recently? Have they sold an asset recently?
One of the most telling pieces of information is knowing if they’ve recently bought or sold a commercial property. Read on to learn how to find recently sold commercial properties using listings, records and property intelligence.
How to Find Recently Sold Commercial Properties
In the past, finding information on recently sold commercial properties was fairly difficult.
The best option would have been to visit local county offices to gain access to public property records and take note of recent changes in ownership.
Today, however, there are many more options.
Now, professionals looking for recently sold commercial properties can generate valuable leads with a combination of sources, including:
- Off-market property intelligence from Reonomy
- Property history public records
- Commercial real estate listings websites
- And more…
Let’s dive in…
Reonomy Off-Market Search by Sales History
Reonomy harnesses the market’s largest database of off-market properties (that includes those listed and unlisted) to make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. No matter your market or asset class, Reonomy’s robust platform simplifies your search, allowing you identify opportunities, uncover strategic insights and connect with decision-makers in seconds.
To find properties recently sold, simply filter a property search by most recent sale date. This will quickly serve up recently sold commercial properties in any county in the US.
For example, across the country, there are currently more than 500,000 commercial properties that have been sold within the last 90 days.
Reonomy also gives you access to the building-level data, ownership data, and contact information on the same properties, all updated in real-time, making the process of connecting to property owners efficient and easy, from lead generation to close.
By harnessing the power of off-market property intelligence, a sold property search can be virtually endless.
Property History Public Records
Searching public records can also give you access to the property history of commercial properties that fall within a specific location—usually delegated to a county.
Online, those records will typically include transaction history, ownership history, mortgage information, liens, or so on.
Property history public records can be found online through locally-based property assessor and appraisal sites, as well as on other more broad, government entity-run websites for cities or entire states. Below are a few examples of where to find property records digitally.
ACRIS is the Automated City Register Information System for Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, with property records dating back to 1966.
It serves as perhaps the most prominent, reliable example of a government-run site of public property records.
In order to find recently sold commercial properties on ACRIS, you can start by choosing to search by document type.
Within the Search by Document Type page, you can select “Deeds and Other Conveyances” as your document class, then “Contract of Sale” as your document type.
Upon doing that, you’ll be able to search within a specific borough, and then either choose a date range, or add in your own custom date range.
When selecting dates, you can search for sales within the last 7 days, or sales within the last 31 days.
Once you run your search, you’ll be given a list of properties that have been recorded as sold within the designated time frame, with images of the official documents themselves.
Many county appraisal and assessor websites include some level of ownership data, allowing you to see if a property has recently changed hands or not.
To search for recently sold commercial properties on the HCAD site:
You can visit the information/profile page for any individual property, and simply click the “Ownership History,” tab, for which you’ll be given a list of the previous and current owner(s).
The HCAD website is best used when searching for a known property or property owner, as a way to see recent ownership changes or new purchases by an owner.
Based on the specific requirements of the site’s property search tool, it cannot be used to conduct random, open-ended searches.
SDAT is Maryland’s State Department of Assessments & Taxation. On the site, there are property sales records for properties in all Maryland counties.
By going to the “Real Property Search” page on the site, you are given the option to first select a county, and then select a “search method.”
For those looking for recently sold properties in Maryland, after choosing their desired county, they can then choose “Property Sales” as the search method.
From there, another page of options will appear, asking you to select dates, whether the property is residential or non-residential, as well as other address details and conveyances.
With this page filled out, you can then click Next, and you’ll then be taken to a list of property results.
In the list, you can click into a page for each individual property, where it will show you the transfer date of the transaction, the parties involved, the amount, sale type, and more.
Property records are updated on a rolling basis—one-third of the database is updated every three months.
So, even though not all of the data on the site will be the most up-to-date, there will always be a portion of properties that have very fresh information on them, making it a useful source to take advantage of.
Larimer County Assessor
The Larimer County (CO) County Assessor website is the first county assessor site on our list.
By visiting the assessor portion of their website, you can run a general property search, or dive straight into property sales.
You can search either residential or commercial sales by property type, city, sale date, price, square footage and/or amount of acres.
For county-based websites, Larimer County is ahead of the curve when it comes to searching for recently sold commercial properties. Their search platform offers a great deal of customizability.
Montgomery County Property Records
Montgomery County is in Pennsylvania, and also offers a property records search page on their website.
You can search property records on the site by property owner, address, parcel ID, or run a map search or sales search.
When searching for recently sold commercial properties on the Montgomery County site:
You can simply add your desired location and then search using a sale date range filter.
Upon searching, your results will appear in a list, showing the parcel ID, owner name, address, sale date, and sale price, with the ability to click into each transaction for more a more detailed breakdown of the property.
Fulton County Property Records
Fulton County (GA) is another county assessor website that serves as a great example of what is available for county-specific sold property searches.
On the Fulton County Assessor homepage, there is a “Property Search” link within the “Quick Links” section on the right side of the page.
If you click that, you’ll be taken to another page where you can begin a search specifically for property sales.
On the Sales Search page, you’ll be able to filter your search by sale date, sale price, square footage, acreage, year built, sale type, and property type.
Upon searching, you’ll be brought to a list of results where you can click into each property individually to gather more information.
Commercial Property Listings
Commercial property listings websites are primarily used to list commercial property for sale.
Some of them, however, also include listings and information on properties that have recently changed hands. The most notable examples include Trulia, Realtor.com, and LoopNet.
Just as you would search for property for sale on Trulia, you can also search for both residential and commercial properties that have already been sold.
On the homepage, you can choose between for sale, for rent, and sold. Here, you should select to search for sold properties, then add a specific location.
Once you’re brought to Trulia’s property search page, you’ll be able to choose a property type.
And while they do not have all types of commercial properties, they do have listings for multi-family properties and land. This can be selected in the “Home Type” dropdown of the search page.
You may also select to search for properties that have been sold within the last 3 months, 6 months, or 9 months.
Realtor.com, despite being another primarily residential listings site, also includes recently sold listings for a few different kinds of commercial properties.
Those property types include farm/ranch, land, and multi-family homes.
Upon visiting Realtor.com’s homepage, you’ll see that you can begin your search by selecting Buy, Rent, or Just Sold, and then add a location.
Similar to Trulia, once you are in Realtor.com’s search page, you can then filter by property type.
Commercial property types include multi family homes, farms/ranches, and land.
While these sites primarily serve residential listings, and lack some commercial property types, they can still be extremely helpful for finding recently sold commercial property.
While not a part of their official search platform, LoopNet offers a series of webpages that list sold commercial properties in the United States.
Here, you can search a great deal of property types in any state across the country.
LoopNet’s sold property pages offer many results, but do not offer the ability to actually filter beyond the property type and location. They also do not offer the search capabilities of many of the previous sites mentioned in this list.
Even though there is no direct way to search recently sold properties on LoopNet, however, it can still be a very useful source, if only accessed through a quick Google search.
News & CRE Publications
News and CRE publications likely won’t be timely sources, nor should they be used as a standalone source, but news sites, newsletters, and commercial real estate publications can also serve as a great supplement to your search for recently sold commercial properties.
These sites can give insights into certain areas that may have high or growing rates of transaction, or can give insights into an ownership portfolio that may be worth researching further.
At the very least, these extra sources of information could be the spark that leads to deeper property research.
The New York Times serves as one of the best examples of the up-to-date pieces of content that commercial real estate professionals and service providers could follow in their search for recently sold commercial properties.
Once a week, the NYT publishes an article titled, “Recent Commercial Real Estate Transactions,” where they highlight recent leases, commercial property for sale, and recently sold commercial properties.
Explore other news sites and industry publications—you never know what you’ll uncover.
No matter your role in CRE, finding recently sold properties and their owners is a helpful way to analyzing opportunities and owner intent. Luckily, there are now more tools available than ever, including market-leading property intelligence that streamlines your search tenfold.