All property sales that take place in New York City are part of public record. Anyone can look up specific property information on ACRIS in NYC. Whether a buyer, who wants to learn more about their next potential home or a seller who wants to price their home based on nearby comps, New York City real estate records can provide a lot of useful information.
While NYC real estate records can be useful to people in different situations, that doesn’t mean accessing them is easy. The reason that is pinpointing the information you want can be a challenge is that it involves going through ACRIS.
Calling ACRIS, which stands for the Automated City Register Information System, a “legacy” database and interface is putting things nicely. For most, pulling up this website leads to unpleasant feelings. Since it is unlikely that this system will become easier to use anytime soon, we want to provide a walk-through of how best to use it.
How to Use ACRIS
If you have a specific property in mind and the only reason you need to use ACRIS is to find its past sale & mortgage info, the good news is this is the most straightforward use of the system. On the Main Options page, click the Find Addresses and Parcels link. From there, you can enter the address you want to look up. Keep in mind that if the property is not a townhouse, you may need to try a couple of guesses to figure out the right unit number to use for the ACRIS search.
ACRIS Search Results
If you need to browse ACRIS instead of performing a direct search, Search Property Records is the link you’ll want to click on the Main Options page. From there, you can narrow your search by different types of documents. Once you’ve selected a document option like Deeds and Other Conveyances, you can experiment with the date range and borough/county parameters to get a selection that yields the results you’re interested in viewing.
Two Simpler Alternatives
Now that we’ve gone through the essential steps, you will likely feel more confident using ACRIS. However, that doesn’t mean the process will be any more enjoyable. If you want a more natural way to access real estate records in NYC, the first alternative is to utilize PropertyShark.com. Streeteasy is another source even though their listings may not have as much information as ACRIS; it is often possible to find some information you may want. And since searching StreetEasy is very simple, it’s worth taking a couple of minutes to try.
If you like the idea of a more straightforward interface but still feel like you have too much on your plate to spend time digging for real estate records, the other alternative is working with an experienced buyer’s agent. You may prefer not having to worry about finding information or what to look. This is just one of many benefits a buyer’s agent can offer during your search for a home in New York City.