What is the INSTRUMENT number of a property? What information can I get with that number?

Asked by Rwilcox, Beverly Hills, CA Mon Dec 14, 2009

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Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Mon Dec 14, 2009
Hello R and thanks again for your post.

The instrument number is the recorder's method of identifying a document. For example, a property deed is normally recorded and is assigned an instrument number (a number stamped in the right hand corner of the document) that provides for a method of identification. Similarly, liens and default notices, which are also recorded in California, are assigned instrument numbers. In short, the "instrument number" is the county recorder's method to identify a recorded or publicly available document.

Here in California, we typically identify properties by their assessor's parcel number or APN, which is the tax assessor's method of identifying a property. When we (as Realtors) speak to the title company, we look for the APN to request preliminary title reports and other information needed to assess the value and condition of a property.

You can use both the APN to find the property and the instrument numbers to find specific documents recorded against the property. Hope this helps!

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
2 votes
Two plots with same instrument number should be sold together right
Flag Tue Nov 7, 2017
I purchased a property that was two town lots but has the same instrument number and the same owner
Flag Tue Nov 7, 2017
Umangmahendra, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Jul 10, 2017
i have deed copy of my house, so how can i find out deed number. only there are mention two number instrment number and invoice number
0 votes
Sophietra, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Aug 16, 2013
where would i find the instrument number and what document where it would be?
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Mon Dec 14, 2009

You need to first deal with your possibly losing a good faith deposit with that REO property of yours, before searching for another property.

Keep in mind, there's always going to be, in this market some other killer deal that comes up, unless you're a billionaire, you can't buy them all. You need to find a home you like, that you're getting a good deal on & stick with that one or else you're going to be losing deposits left & right.

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