Free Foreclosure Listings
Where can I find free foreclosure listings ?
The goal of buying foreclosures is making money, so why spend money finding foreclosures? There are plenty of agencies who will sell you lists of foreclosures and plenty of websites that promise free foreclosure listings, so where is the best place to start your hunt for a foreclosure?
Your first port of call should be the local county court. When foreclosure is initiated by a bank or mortgage lender, this is where the notice of default is filed. Investors are usually entitled to visit the court to browse recently filed notices of default. Alternatively, check if the County Recorder lists notices of default online.
The website NETROnline (www.netronline.com) has a search engine for property reports, notices of default, title deeds, ownership, liens, tax details and other information that might influence your decision to bid for a property at auction.. There is a small fee for the individual reports, but the range of information on offer is impressive.
Another option is to check the 'Legal Notices' section of your local newspaper for notices of upcoming foreclosure auctions or 'trustee sales'. Some investors follow these leads back to the lender who filed the notice. Lenders may be willing to release lists of other foreclosures if you agree to use their services when you close the sale.
Almost all foreclosure websites offer 'free' searches for foreclosure listings, but most are just a sweetener to persuade you to pay for full membership. The free search only brings up limited details and you must register and pay a fee to get detailed information or to use the service after the initial trial period.
The listings on foreclosure websites tend to be compiled from the free listings published by lenders and government agencies and many of these sites list the same properties, which tends to increase the level of competition for individual properties. You probably stand a better chance of finding a bargain if you do your own research.
REO's (Real Estate-Owned properties) are usually listed by private real estate brokers. This means that listings are free but you pay fees to the agent when you buy the property. Try contacting real estate brokers who advertise on the internet or in the local newspaper for lists of REO's.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (http://www.hud.gov) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (http://www.va.gov) also sell large numbers of foreclosures. Another place to find REO's are the property listings on the websites of Fannie Mae (http://www.fanniemae.com) and Freddie Mac (http://www.freddiemac.com).