So you just bought your house and looked online just to find out that the county tax office is showing someone else as the owner? That’s OK. There’s no need to worry! This is perfectly normal, and everything is fine.

It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem, and this is doubly so for the tax offices, unfortunately. But here’s the thing. Tax records only reflect the owner as of January first of any calendar year. So whoever owned the property at the first of the year is going to be shown as the tax record owner for the entire year, even though you’ve bought the property. That’s just how tax offices are and it happens to everyone.

But that’s OK! While the county tax commissioner isn’t a great place to verify ownership, the deed record rooms are! Recorded deeds are what show ownership, and they’re available to everyone online at the Clerk’s Authority website. Or just as us for a copy from your closing. We’ll be happy to send one along!

Anyway. While the property taxes may show an old owner for now, that will change next January. So relax, have a cup of really strong tea, and wait it out. That’s all there is to do!

Harlan Florence is an Atlanta-based boutique law firm that believes there's a better way to handle your real estate closing. We'd love to work with you. Contact us today, and let's see what we can do together.
Photo by Stephen Harlan on Unsplash

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