Best Way to Find Foreclosures – 5 Tips for Finding Foreclosures

Are you looking for foreclosures in your area? Conditions in various seller’s markets may be different but there are still ways in which you can easily find foreclosed homes for your ownership.

Tap the services of real estate agents. Real estate agents are given access to a system which is known as MLS or Multiple Listing Service. It is through this system that the agents are able to find foreclosed homes in a specific area. Thus, tapping such professional is one way to find a foreclosure.

Scout for real estate yard signs. Banks are still into the practice of putting yard signs into properties that have come back to their stables of possessions. There are variations of these signs but aside from foreclosure, included among the most common signs are bank-owned, bank repossessed, and bank repo. Typically, the real estate agent’s name is reflected on the sign. Take the opportunity to call whoever is written on the sign. with advanced thinking, you can already ask about forthcoming foreclosures in your area.

Join social media groups geared towards foreclosure buy and sell. Social media has become habitat to a variety of groups with different purposes and goals. Foreclosure groups are no different. They have thrived and lived on social media. If you are savvy enough, you will be lucky to find some groups over Facebook. Join them. You’ll not only find foreclosures in your area. You will also be up for learning from the experiences, tips, and suggestions that will be shared by other members.

Visit real estate websites. Apart from the real estate agents themselves, a lot of real estate firms maintain official websites. There are firms which concentrate on foreclosures. There are also those which offer the buying and selling of mixed properties along with foreclosures. Either kind, you can browse through their listings and filter those properties that are already foreclosed or those that are nearing repossession.

Make your own ads. Digital marketing, aside from being free, is powerful in terms of the number of reach it can have. A single post can reach multiple sellers. Utilize your social media accounts for free posts that you are looking for a foreclosed property to buy. Just patiently wait for responses, and you’ll be more than happy to see that there are indeed a number of persons who are willing to negotiate for their foreclosed homes.

Foreclosed properties are just near your place. By finding them and giving good offers, you are not only taking a step towards buying a dream house or an investment property. You are also making someone benefit from the amount that will be granted when deal is closed.

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Buying a Foreclosed Property

I received an email today with questions and concerns about a foreclosure sale. Great questions so I decided to post both the question and my response below.

What has been your experience with foreclosures?

Karen,
I have a question for you, I am not new to real estate investing but am new to foreclosure auction process…
there is a property that is going to be auctioned next month at our courthouse.
I have applied for pre-qualification with a standard bank lender, who won’t close until repairs are done following an appraisal.
I have applied with a private lender who won’t lend until they know the repairs…

BUT I CAN’T GET IN TO THE HOUSE!

I have to bid sight unseen! How can I get financing? I can bid and put down an earnest money deposit but I can’t come out of pocket for repairs, etc.
Plus, how do I evict people when I don’t own the house, if I win the bid, and can’t assess repairs until they are out, how do I get them out if I haven’t closed on financing, and I can’t get financing until I can get them out and assess repairs? round and round…

Any advice would be helpful. Basically you have to have 6 figures in cash to play at these auctions…

Response:

Over all the years, all the houses, and all the investors I know, buying at foreclosure auction is one of the worst possible ways to buy. There are a number of reasons including the ones you mentioned:

You can’t get into the house to assess what needs to be done because the bank doesn’t own it yet.
You have to work with a bank (the worst) and the rules are constantly changing and never in your favor.
Don’t buy anything with a tenant in it if you can avoid it. When a house is foreclosed, the owners are typically furious and want to take it out on the bank, so they often destroy the property. That doesn’t ultimately hurt the bank, just the buyer. We bought one where the foreclosed owners had poured sand down all the drains. No way to know that ahead of time.
Upset-bid periods
Most foreclosed properties sell full retail at auction.
By the time they get to auction, the good ones are picked over
There’s a very real reason banks don’t want to loan for you to purchase these…

So, my advice to you is to attend all the local investor meetings you can to find properties to purchase better ways than these auctions. If a house is a decent price in a decent area, we find that end use buyers bid them up to retail, anyway. And, once your bid is approved, there is a 10 day “upset-bid” period where anyone else can come and bid higher.

There is nothing good about foreclosure auctions. How to do them? Don’t. You’re far better off letting it foreclose and then buying from the listing real estate agent once you can go through it.

What can you add? What’s been your experience with bank foreclosures?

My name is Karen Rittenhouse and I’ve been investing in real estate full time since 2004. We currently buy about 60 houses per year, 80 percent of which we wholesale. Our current goal is to use that income to pay off all of our hold properties.

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