Don’t Pay for Recorded or Public Real Estate Documents

Westcoe Reators, Riverside Ca…We’re going to save you some money here. Not a lot, but enough for dinner anyway. Today’s topic comes courtesy of the few people out there who constantly want to scam good people out of their hard earned money. If you remember anything from todays blog post it is this: Never pay money to anyone for a copy of your recorded real estate documents.

Why? Because, in almost all cases, your local, friendly real estate agent can get them for you for free. In fact, you can get them on-line yourself in most cases. Let us explain and give some examples to avoid.

There are a myriad of ways an action by a homeowner can trigger the creation of a new Grant Deed on a home (The grant deed is the document that shows you are the rightful owner of the home). A homeowner might be creating a trust for tax purposes, and granting the home from Bob Smith to the Bob Smith trust…or Bob might have just gotten married and wants to add the new Mrs. Smith to the title of his home…or worse, Bob might be getting a divorce, and as a result of that, the property is now going from Mr. & Mrs, Smith to just Bob (or to Mrs. Smith…we’re not taking sides here!). Perhaps you have inherited a home and a new deed needs to be created showing you now are the rightful owner of the home…or maybe this is a simple real estate purchase in which you are buying the home from the former owner.

Whether the reason for the new deed is your purchase of the home, or one of the innocuous reasons listed above, the bottom line here is that the new deed (assuming you are having an attorney or professional handle matters for you) will be recorded as a public record, for anyone to see if they are in the mood…and once it is recorded, then it stays that way until you change it.

Where our scam mentioned above occurs is when about 1-4 weeks after the new deed is recorded, you receive in the mail an “official” looking document offering to provide you a copy of your new deed for your records…for the mere price of around $100.

Wow…what a deal. Not much money (not enough to get you suspicious), and the document you receive in the mail really does look very official. It’s got lots of information about your property (remember…this is public record), reminds you of how important it might be to have this new deed in your files, etc. It really is pretty impressive…AND IT’S A SCAM.

There is nothing these companies can do for you that a real estate agent can’t do for you…and we don’t charge any fee. Worse yet, these companies get you all worked up for nothing. Remember: your recorded new deed is recorded forever, or until you make any changes to it. While it’s nice to have a copy, it’s totally not necessary, since it is recorded with the County and remains that way until you dictate otherwise.

Just remember: no matter how official looking the “request for your money” looks, don’t ever pay anything until you check to see if your local real estate professional can do the same thing for free.

Hope this saves you come cash…and enjoy your dinner out on the money we just saved you.

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