DUE DILIGENCE WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT MATTERS! LAURA ALAMERY Q: Which government agencies do you recommend searching to complete due diligence? A: I don’t check with all the government offices for each property. If my discovery at the Recorder of Deeds Office comes out clean (with no red flags) I will stop there; unless I see a spotty history of liens and releases on title. This is also a useful means of locating properties undergoing issues that have kept them off the MLS. Here is a list of searches available in the public domain, and what you can expect to find: 1. Recorder of Deeds Office – Will have record of liens such as: Mortgages, Federal & State Income Tax Liens, Sewer, Water, Judgments, HOA (Homeowner’s Association); and other property document history. 2. Collector of Revenue – Lists any Back Property Taxes and Tax Liens 3. Building Inspections Office – Data on any building violations and inspections. 4. HOA – If the property is within a subdivision or a condo development, there are probably Homeowners’ Association Dues. 5. Clerk’s Office – Mechanics Liens (filed by contractors for unpaid work on the property). 6. Comptroller – City liens, for unpaid taxes and fees. Due diligence is a must when it comes to purchasing real estate. Though a preliminary search can be performed at no cost before making your decision to proceed – it is my opinion that a full title search and insurance are necessary prior to final purchase.