If you have been one of those Agents who are afraid to venture into your County's Court House, here's some help. There is a plethora of information useful to Real Estate Agents in the Court House, you just need to know three basic categories (in order of importance) to quickly find what you're looking for and what will help increase your "expertise".
1. WHAT TO FIND IN THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE: Correct spellings of titled owner(s), full addresses, accurate legal descriptions, subdivision plats, maps and easements, building sizes, square footage, location of out buildings, property evaluations, locations of Warranty Deed which will tell you when the Seller bought the property and for how much.
2. WHAT TO FIND IN THE TREASURER'S OFFICE: Listed by Owner's last name(s), locate the exact amount of their annual taxes and if taxes are in arrears or paid in full. Also find the current Lender's name if Owner has an escrow account with a Lender.
3. WHAT TO FIND IN THE RECORDER'S OFFICE: Warranty Deed transferring ownership from the last owner to your Seller, when? and for how much? Any Leins for Mortgages, taxes, IRS, bad debts, materials and manufacturing (aka M&M Liens). (Wouldn't it be helpful to know when you list the property, exactly what the Title Company will find when it comes under contract and you ask for a Title Commitment?) GWho is their Lender and how much was the original amout they borrowed - also, you'll see Assignments where Lenders sold the mortgage to another Lender. Then, you may also discover your "Owner" is divorced and you did not get his/her ex-spouse's name on your Listing Contract, and you really have no authorization to sell without his/her permission? Is the property titled in FEE SIMPLE, JOINT TENANCY, or TENANCY IN COMMON? You must know this, too, before you can sell it.... and don't forget to go back and check out your Buyer.... they may have Liens and Bankruptcies, too, which would disqualify them from a clean purchase with a loan from a Lender.
LASTLY: Don't be intimidated by people working in these Court Houses. They are on YOUR payroll and are there expressly to help and serve EVERYONE who comes in for information. All you have to do is ask for help and they will drop what they're doing and show you exactly how to access computers and books.
Good luck... and list "Professionally", where you have all of the cards and knowledge. NO SURPRISES!!