Ask Kathy: Property Profiles — A Useful Tool For Real Estate Professionals

Q. Is it beneficial to request and review a Property Profile prior to listing a property for sale or preparing offers on behalf of buyers?

A. Yes; a terrific “best practice!” As a precursor to representing clients, whether sellers, buyers, landlords or tenants, it is helpful to know the status of the property.

The fastest and easiest way to determine property status is a review of a Property Profile (“Profile”). In California, Profiles may be obtained from a title company at no cost to a real estate licensee; the information is not confidential; it is a matter of public record.

When requesting a Profile ask that it include: Grant Deed, Notice of Default, Notice of Sale, Trust Deed(s), Quit Claim Deeds/transfers of title and Property Tax delinquencies.

A Profile should not be confused with a Preliminary Title Report (“Prelim”); a Prelim is more comprehensive than a Profile. It includes all Liens, Easements, Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CC&Rs”) and typically is a fee based service.

1. Why the Grant Deed?
a. Identifies title holder(s) and manner in which title is held
2. Why Trust Deeds?
a. Outstanding loans against the property can assist in determining equity
3. Why the Notice of Default (“NOD”)?
a. Forewarns that a Notice of Sale may be looming
4. Why the Notice of Sale?
a. Determine whether or not a sale date has been set; certainly a matter of interest to a buyer or a lessee
5. Why Quit Claim Deeds / chain of title?
a. Examining these recorded documents can be useful for historical perspective
6. Why property tax delinquencies?
a. Affects seller’s proceeds; any delinquencies must be paid at closing

Whether representing Buyer, Seller, Lessor or Lessee; the profile can be a real estate licensee’s best friend and can go a long way toward preventing unwanted surprises; while there is no statutory requirement to search public records doing so can be a valuable tool.

At the end of the day the process of managing client’s expectations is one sure way to earn repeat and referral business from satisfied clients.


Questions? Email them to:Kathy@Compass.com

The foregoing is not to be construed as legal advice. It is for the purposes of real estate brokerage education only.


Kathy Mehringer
Regional Director of Risk Management & Education
Broker Associate
CalBRE # 00625769
9560 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 200
Beverly Hills, CA 90212