Under state law, a Real Estate Transfer Return (RETR) must be electronically filed (e-filed) with the County Register of Deeds when recording a conveyance of real estate.
RETR information may be used to determine a property's market value. The best indicator of market value is a transfer representing an arm's-length transaction.
Characteristics of an arm's-length sale:
- Property must have been on the open market for a period of time typical of the turnover time for that property type
- Both buyer and seller must be knowledgeable about the real estate market and the uses (present and potential) of the property
- Must be 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 property type
Not all Real Estate Transfer Returns represents arm's-length sales:
Examples include: family sales, correction deeds and delinquent tax sales generally are not considered arm's-length transactions. However, with these transactions, you must still file a RETR.
Note: The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) is not responsible for the accuracy of the data contained on the RETR, and will not aid in its application or analysis
Search RETR data or Download Historical RETR Data
- Search RETR data:
- Use the
Real Estate Transfer Search to locate specific RETRs
- Advanced search options allow you to search by specific information including date range, sale price and location
- Download Historical RETR data:
- Historical sales files list sales submitted by each county at the time of posting (middle of each month) and may not reflect all sales that occurred for the time period selected
- Contact the county where the property is located to confirm the information
- Below are links to monthly Real Estate Transfer historical data
- Historical files are large and zipped
- File information
- Click the file you want to view
- Open the file and save to your computer (make note of the file name and where you saved it)
- File is saved as a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file
- For historical data older than five years, contact the county register of deeds office where the property is located
Note: DOR is not available to provide technical assistance and support in opening compressed files.
Real Estate Transfer Data Fields for above files
- How to search, technical or website questions
- eRETR questions (how to complete a return)