Received an Offer to Have Your Deed Mailed to You for a Fee? Toss It!

This year, Recorder of Deeds Jeanne Sorg has an important message for home buyers in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Look out, Sorg tells homeowners, for deceptive letters mailed to residents from outfits like Property Site. (That’s just one example of the companies who send out these letters, Sorg notes.)

The letters at issue say the companies will send copies of property assessments along with deeds “or other record of title” for a fee — typically in the ~$100 price range.

In fact, wherever you live in the United States, you’ll probably get something like this if you buy a home. And it’s probably best rerouted into the recycle bin. There’s simply no need to answer letters like this.

“Don’t Be Misled”

People who have just closed on their first homes as well as seniors are the most likely recipients to pay large amounts for documents. Sorg urges recipients not to be misled by “official” letters like this, no matter how real they seem.

Sure, there’s always the fine print that says the letters don’t come from any official agency — but some companies use such an official appearance, that the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds decided to announce this as a scam alert. The county recorder of deeds does not work through businesses that send unsolicited letters to homeowners.  

After a closing, the closing agent or attorney files the new deed with the local deed recorder. Then, the new owner will wait for the deed to be mailed to their new home. That’s all it takes.  

Here are three ways to get a copy of your deed.

The county tax assessor makes property records available online. Also, Montgomery County’s deed recorder, like many across the United States, has a searchable, public access database. For a small administrative fee (currently $10.50 in Montgomery County), know that you can order copies of records. And residents can always call the county deed recorder’s office for help as needed.  

In Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, homeowners may sign up for FraudSleuth, too. It’s free for residents to sign up. The automated system will alert deed holders who sign up when a claim is recorded on the deed. Homeowners can check their own county deed recorders’ websites to find similar automated services.

What About Those “I Want to Buy Your Home!” Mailings?

With homes in high demand and short supply, real estate investors may simply be working to increase what’s available to them. They’re keen to root out homes at discount prices so they can flip them for a profit. Sending out unsolicited mailings — paper or electronic — is one way to pry homes from the hands of their current owners who wouldn’t otherwise list them.

Given this dynamic, you’re highly unlikely to get what your home is really worth by answering one of these mailings.

Some of these buyers are wholesalers. They offer to buy homes at discounts so that they can transfer deeds again to other buyers for a cut: usually 5% to 10% of the home price.

Effective New Year’s Day 2025, wholesaling property deeds will be barred in Oregon.

Wholesalers don’t always take title to the homes they find. So a wholesaler might simply reassign the purchase contract to the “retail” buyer. This end buyer has already struck an agreement with the wholesaler to pay a certain price.

How Do Unsolicited Mailings Convince Some Owners to Sell?

Sometimes, a seller may consider the offer a relatively easy way out of a home that needs work. The “I’ll buy your house!” people often take homes as-is. That lets the owner avoid having to do upgrades and then stage and show the home and deal with potential buyers and their contingencies.

What rules and standards apply when a home in need of repairs is being sold in that condition? Learn more about the “as-is” home sale on

In short, selling to experienced investors makes a sale relatively quick and simple. For that reason, you may want to entertain the unsolicited offer. Then again, you could have the work done yourself and keep your profit. And you’d be selling to the people who will be next to live at your address. That can be satisfying.

Indeed, now and then, homeowners get offers out of the blue from regular buyers. People who seek a place to actually call home. Maybe they’re trying, long-shot style, to get a home with sentimental or historical value to them. Or maybe these go-getter buyers just want to beat the crowd.

It’s easy to see why people would try to nudge owners to sell these days with the housing market as brutal as it is. Many people are vying to buy listed homes, whereas finding a home off the market could turn out to be a successful deal, avoiding the bidding wars.

Sometimes, regular home buyers have agents working with them when they make their pitches to owners. But they are not businesses trying to fetch a profit. Here, the proposal comes from a buyer who’s in it to win just one home. That’s someone who might offer you your real estate’s full, fair-market value.  

Is There Some Way to Deter Unsolicited Mailings?

Even if you expect to get them and have your recycle bin ready, you might find these mailings a nuisance. Or maybe a senior in your life is getting bombarded and isn’t sure how to respond — or avoid responding.

Unfortunately, mailers gonna mail. But there are a few things you can do to slow them down:

  • Tell companies that mail things your way to take you off their lists. But use caution. Avoid responding to unsolicited emails and texts that could be trying to find live numbers — or even sending scam contact links. Artificial intelligence makes it harder than ever to sort the real communicators from the fakes — and the deepfakes.
  • If you don’t want your profile being used from credit card and insurance dealers who send the “you’re pre-approved” letters in the mail, you can visit, which is run by the credit bureaus.
  • Visit to end many of those pesky direct mailings. That’s the Direct Marketing Association. They charge a small fee to stop most mailings for a decade. For free, you can add someone to the Deceased – Do Not Contact or the Do Not Contact for Caretakers list (for people under others’ care).

Obviously, companies wanting our business will be around longer than we will. But it doesn’t hurt to know how they work — especially when they’re selling services to people who don’t need them.

Supporting References

Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds Jeanne Sorg  (Norristown, PA), Civic Alerts: Deed Scam Targets Montgomery County Home Buyers (Mar. 11, 2024).

Gina Rodrigues for HomeLight, Inc. via Keep Getting Unsolicited Offers on Your Home? Here’s Why (Jun. 11, 2024; with information provided by Daren Sautter, a member of the board of directors for the NEXUS Association of REALTORS®).

Consumer Advice, U.S. Federal Trade Commission, via Consumer.FTC .gov: How to Stop Junk Mail.

And as linked.

More on topics: Deed scams target seniors, Protect seniors from deed theft

Photo credits: Abstrakt Xxcellence Studios and Lisa Fotios, via Pexels.