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How To Find Foreclosures
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Foreclosures are no new thing. In fact, they exist in every market whether distressed or booming. What is unique in today’s market is the sheer number of foreclosures and bank owned homes currently on the market. Let’s face it, the last few years have been brutal for many homeowners and there are now more foreclosures than ever in modern day America. On the other side of the spectrum, for investors this can be a very profitable time. But just how do these savvy investors find these deals? We’ve all seen the infomercials and websites claiming to have the master list of every foreclosed home in your local area so let’s take a quick look at how the average Joe finds foreclosed properties.

Real estate agents Let’s face it, they know their craft and are in the bizz, and in today’s market more than ever, you get what you pay for. Many of the top agents in various regions specialize in foreclosures. Why? Because banks want these homes sold and are currently listing them below their actual value. Buyers want a good deal, especially those purchasing a property as an investment, making it a win-win situation for both parties. Agents also have access to the “Multiple Listing Service” or MLS. The MLS is a service real estate agents and appraisers use to show homes for sale in an area, homes that have already sold in an area, and homes that were listed but didn't sell. The MLS is their most powerful tool, and if you hire a real estate agent they will work hand in hand with you to find the perfect foreclosed property.

Get Out Into The Community Get in your car or take a walk in all the neighborhoods you’d like to own a home in. More than likely you will come across several for sale signs, some of which will state the home is foreclosed, bank owned, or bank repo’d. Most signs will have the listing agents contact info right there on the sign, call them. Chances are also very high the agent has several foreclosed properties listed as well as inside information on properties still going through the foreclosure process that are not yet listed. This is a great way to get information before it’s advertised to the public and many banks will jump at the notion of selling their foreclosed property ASAP.

Bank Websites Visit the major banks websites. Some examples include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Chase, Countrywide, etc. Almost all the big banks have sites dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes they now own and they all desperately want to rid themselves of these properties. The web is a very powerful tool and one could literally do all their own research here if they wanted to spend the time doing so.

Asset Management Companies Many banks utilize asset management companies to handle their foreclosures. Just like the bank websites these asset management companies all have their own sites. Pay them a visit or call one of their agents. Three examples include:

-HomeEq Servicing

-Keystone Asset Management

-Premier Asset Services

Government Agencies Most government run agencies require you to utilize a real estate broker should you decide to make an offer on one of their listed properties and some will accept private offers. Almost all of them allow you to search their massive databases, which can be a great source for your search. Examples of these agencies include:

-HUD - Housing Urban Development

-Fannie Mae

-Department of the Treasury (Includes homes seized by the IRS)

Auctions Many auction companies or public county auctions are very active, sometimes selling hundreds of properties in a single day. Just be careful not to get caught up in the moment and bid a property higher than its otherwise worth in its foreclosed state. Some examples of property auction services include the following: -Real Estate Disposition Corporation

-J. P. King

-United Country Auction Services

-Williams & Willaims

-Bid4Assets

Internet Foreclosure Listing Sites These sites can be intimidating or confusing and there are plenty to choose from. They usually charge a subscription fee to utilize their services and many of them truly do contain thousands of foreclosed properties. Many times these sites have done all the work for you in compiling foreclosure listings of possible investment properties. If you have all the free time in the world you can probably get by without the aid of these sites. On the flip side if your time is valuable to you many of these sites offer a fantastic service and can save hours if not days of your time. Lastly, most of these sites offer a trial period letting you utilize some of their basic features for free for a short period, usually 30 days. An example of these sites include the following:

-Foreclosure.com

-Realtytrac.com

Today the market is ripe with foreclosures. If you know where to look and how to find them you can find some great deals. Take your time and do your research and remember there are many resources for you to utilize. If you have the time, check out each resource and find the one that’s right for you. You never know, you just might find a combination of each that works for you. Good luck in your search for the perfect foreclosed investment property.


Street Talk

Good information, thanks!

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  about 1 decade ago
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