What if you do not have the address or parcel number but you know the general location of the property?
Go to the Mapping section of our web site, which is located under the letter “M” for mapping. You can zoom into the map and select a parcel with the identify tool. That will give you the parcel number and the owner information.
What is the Municipality?
The municipality is the city, town, or village your property is located in. The first three numbers of the Parcel ID number a.k.a. Tax ID number indicate the municipality the property is in. For example: If your Parcel ID number begins with 151, then you are located in the Village of Mt Pleasant.
How do I find out what a parcel of real estate sold for?
This is more difficult than you might think. In actual practice, the sale price is not necessarily disclosed on a deed. The Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Fee is assessed on most, but not all conveyances. This fee is noted on the deed at the time of recording. This fee is based on the value of the property and can be calculated as follows:
What is the square footage, year built, and/or stories of a building or house?
Our office does not have any information regarding the dwellings on a property. In order to find out this information, you will want to contact the assessor for the municipality the property is in.
I would like to get sale prices for several properties surrounding a specific area.
Our office does not have “comparable” price lists nor do we perform such a search. An individual could potentially conduct such a search by themselves; however, you would need to know the specific property addresses and/or parcel identification numbers to do so. Realtors have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) database and have a better understanding of how to get accurate “comp” prices.
How can I obtain a copy of a document (i.e. deed, mortgage, satisfaction, etc.)?
You will need to indicate what type of document you are looking for (i.e. deed, mortgage, satisfaction, etc.), a timeframe when the document was recorded, and provide one of the following: (1) the parcel identification number for the property or (2) the property’s physical address. The statutory fee for document copies is $2 for the first page and $1 for each additional page, if you have the recording information for us to go directly to that document. There will be a $5 or $10 search fee, depending on how long ago the document was recorded, if you do not have the recording information. You can send an email to email@example.com or call (262) 636-3208 and inform you of what fees will apply to your inquiry. Please note, however, we do not do this type of searching “over the phone.”
Where can I find out about the easements on a specific property?
Easements may be attached to any recorded document. Our office is not staffed to perform this type of search. They are usually noted in your title policy. If you are unable to locate this document, you may want to contact a professional title searcher to perform a search for you. A fee typically applies for this service.
We recently paid off the mortgage on our home. When will get a new deed showing that we no longer owe the bank anything?
Under Wisconsin law, you only ever receive one deed to your property. And you should have received it shortly after you closed on your property. If you take a look at your deed, you will notice that your name appears as a “grantee” but the bank is never mentioned. So, when you pay your mortgage in full, it is not necessary to update your deed. What needs to be done is to have a “Satisfaction of Mortgage” document recorded with our office. Financial institutions are required to record such a document within a specified timeframe. If you received the endorsed satisfaction from our office, nothing further needs to be done. If you have not received the endorsed satisfaction from our office, you should check with your lender to be certain they processed the appropriate paperwork.
What help can the Register of Deeds office provide for drafting my own real estate documents?
This office is charged with the duty of being an unbiased, independent custodian of records relating to real estate. As such, the only area we can assist you in is general process questions. We cannot assist you in the drafting of documents. Although several legal documents have been developed into “fill-in-the-blank” style forms and appear to be very easily completed, it is the answers to those fill-in-the-blank questions that are critically important. Those answers can vary widely from person to person. Determining the correct answer for your situation constitutes “legal advice” and none of our staff is licensed to practice real estate law. Even if we were, our role as custodian of the records would still prevent us from assisting in the creation of the records.
I need the recording information (document number, volume & page, date, etc) from a previously recorded document. How can I obtain this information?
You need to provide the following: (1) the parcel identification number for the property, (2) what type of document you are looking for (ie: deed, mortgage, satisfaction) and (3) an approximate time frame to search in. Again, there will be a fee of either $5 or $10 depending on how long ago the document was recorded. If you send an email to Register of Deeds with the above information, we will send you a search application form and inform you of which fee will apply to your inquiry. Please note, we do not do this type of searching “over the phone”.
How can I find out the sale price from the previous sale of a specific property?
We can assist you with this type of information. There will be a fee of either $5 or $10 depending on how long ago the previous sale took place. If you send an email to Register of Deeds with the address of the property you are interested in, we will send you a search application form and inform you which fee will apply to your inquiry. Please note, we do not do this type of searching “over the phone”.
Can I do my own title search?
Strictly speaking, the answer is “yes”. Practically speaking, however, the answer is probably “no”. The records in the Register of Deeds office are open for public inspection. However, unless you are familiar with how real estate records are organized and how to perform a “Grantor/Grantee” and a “Tract Index” search, it will be easier for you to find the proverbial “needle in a haystack”. Additionally, there may be documents on file with the Clerk of Circuit Court that may impact the property you are interested in. It is our experience that the expertise a professional title searcher offers is well worth the money you will spend – especially when you compare it to the value of the transaction you are about to enter.
I am considering buying a parcel of real estate. How can I find out what liens, if any, have been filed against it?
If you are borrowing money from a financial institution in order to make the purchase, a title search will be ordered by that financial institution well in advance of the closing. This search will reveal any outstanding liens. If no financial institution is involved, then you will want to contract directly with a title company for a complete title search. In either case, be certain your “Offer to Purchase” contains contingency clauses that state what affect these liens will have on your offer.
Do you provide assistance with my genealogy searches?
Our office is not staffed to perform this type of research. However, it only takes a few minutes to learn how to do this kind of research yourself. If you call ahead, we will be happy to schedule a half-hour orientation session with you. These orientations are done by appointment only, so be sure to call ahead to schedule a time slot.
How do I get a copy of a birth certificate, death certificate or marriage certificate?
These documents are called Vital Records. There is a short application form that you need to complete for the Birth Certificate, Death Certificate and Marriage Certificate. Mail that application form along with a money order (sorry, no personal checks) and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Racine County Register of Deeds 730 Wisconsin Ave Racine, WI 53403 or You can submit your request online, with a credit card payment. There are additional fees related to this option, but it offers you the fastest, most convenient service available.