if you are searching for property records you can call a title company, as these types of companies usually issue you with free property profiles. You can obtain certified copies of the mortgages and deeds. Some of these companies will extend their search in order to find out if the seller has any judgments against their name.
Unfortunately if the seller has a common last name, you may not be able to obtain the information needed, and won't be able to define which one of the names is the seller. Real estate agents come in useful, as these agents are able to locate and obtain far more information. Many of these Estate agents subscribe to agencies that provide them with property search data in different formats.
If you have chosen to go through an Estate agent, ask them to give you a full history on the property in question. You can find out whether a property has been withdrawn from the market as well as if it has been relisted. Always check to see if the agents you are dealing with are not the same agents that sold the property in the first instance to the seller, and are now representing the seller once again.
The Estate agent can find out how long the said property has been on the market, as this affects the pricing. By looking up the property records you can determine the original sale price and determine if the price was reduced or if the property has fallen out of escrow. You can also check to see whether the seller switched agents or cancelled the listing.
Online property databases allow you to download deeds as well as search for sales and mortgage histories of any property which dates back as far as twenty years or more. You can also obtain quitclaim deeds as well as inter-spousal deeds from one spouse to another depicting a possible divorce. In addition many people searching for records subscribe to a tax record database that will disclose a complete set of records retained at the tax offices.
These property records can include the age of the property, the number of rooms, how many garages and virtually everything there is to know about the property can be obtained. If there is a discrepancy in the square footage, there could have been home improvements done without a permit. If you are a buyer you can obtain verification at the city planning department.