Last week, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley issued a press release warning residents about so-called “deed collection services”, which offer a copy of a homeowner’s deed for fees ranging from $50 to $90. The warning was issued because deeds are public records that are generally available for free online or for a small nominal fee.
“To date, a number of companies have solicited Massachusetts homeowners to purchase copies of the deeds to their homes at significantly more than the actual cost of obtaining the documents, including Record Transfer Services, Record Retrieval Department, Proxy Data Retrieval LLC, National Record Service, and Property Transfer Services,” the attorney general’s press release stated.
Although the attorney general offered a couple of ways to get a copy of a homeowner’s deed like going to the Registry of Deeds in person or visiting the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s website at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/rod/, there is a more direct way to get the information for free.
MassLandRecords.com is the most direct way to find your deed at the Registry of Deeds. This website is also run by the secretary of state, but it is a web address that is easier to remember and a more direct way to get to the information you are seeking. The landing page includes a map of the commonwealth. All one has to do is click on their county to go to the appropriate registry’s website. This is how newspapers get the information whenever they publish which houses have sold and for how much.
I regularly use this page to research properties that I have either listed for sale or that I have represented a buyer in purchasing. Free copies of a deed can be accessed for all three counties of the Pioneer Valley.
If you are planning on buying a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129. Michael Seward is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Buyers Agent, A Certified Loss Mitigation Specialist, a Certified New Homes Specialist, and Green designee of the National Association of REALTORS®.