The seller of real estate is required to file a Real Estate Transfer Return (RETR) with the county Register of Deeds when recording deeds of property conveyances. State statutes require those returns to be filed electronically beginning July 1, 2009.
This site provides “read only” access to RETR data. Grantor and grantee social security numbers and grantor and grantee telephone numbers from real estate transfers are confidential, however the returns and the information obtained from the returns may be disclosed pursuant to section 77.265 and 77.265(9), Wis. Stats. Under Wisconsin Law, the non-confidential information contained in these records is public information. The data will be updated on a weekly basis.
Real Estate Transfer Return information is often used to determine the market value of property. The best indicator of market value is those Transfers that represent arm’s length transactions. The following list identifies the characteristics of an arm’s length sale.
- The property must have been available on the open market for a period of time typical of the turnover time for that type of property.
- Both buyer and seller must be knowledgeable about the real estate market.
- Both buyer and seller must be knowledgeable about the uses, present and potential, of the property.
- There must be both a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither compelled to act.
- Payment for the property must be in cash, or typical of normal financing and payment arrangements for the type of property.
Not all Real Estate Transfer Returns represent arm’s-length transactions. Transactions such as family sales, correction deeds, and delinquent tax sales generally are not considered arm’s-length transactions, but still require filing a Transfer Return. These records do not convey title, but are tax documents.
The Department of Revenue assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the data contained on the Return, nor will it aid in its application or analysis.
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