The third strategy is more time consuming and a bit more work but will get you lots of great leads
You can go to your local courthouse website for this information. On the website, you’ll typically want to search for public records. If you have trouble finding them on the website, you could try a more specific Google search. Do a search for your county probate records, and it may direct you to the exact page on the county website.
Once you have a list of potential leads, you can cross reference them with the appraiser’s site. This will tell you quickly if they owned a home or not. Simply type in the name, and it will quickly show you the information you need.
If you can’t find the information yourself, I suggest finding someone who knows the county website well and give you a rundown of how it works. You can find someone at the courthouse and ask if you can shadow them for a bit.
You can get the customer service number from the county courthouse website and give them a call. They’re usually willing to help out. After all, it is their job to help customers.
You may have people turn you away and tell you the information isn’t available on the website, and sometimes — especially with smaller courts. Sometimes though, the person may just not want to help. In this case, call back and try to get someone else to help you.
You can also go into the courthouse and talk to someone in person.
With your list of names in hand, you can begin to look up numbers. You can visit whitepages.com, or for about $20 a month, you can get numbers from Intelius, which has access to cellphone numbers and unpublished numbers.
Make sure you keep all of the information you gather organized in your system, whichever method you decide to use.
Remember, it isn’t what you know, but who you know. You can spend hours hitting walls, trying to find the information yourself. Or, you can call the courthouse to have someone show you where to go for what you need.