There is no doubt that foreclosed homes can come at a substantial value to homebuyers across the county. The trick to finding a foreclosure deal, however, lies in being able to scoop it up before someone else does. Because of the vast amount of competition amongst buyers for foreclosure homes, he who has the best data often wins the best deal.
There are many foreclosure listing websites available to consumers, promising the most up to date and accurate data for their area when, in fact, they do anything but. When you are seeking out that deal of a lifetime on a foreclosed home, these are the three best solutions, that don’t cost a dime.
1) Use a Realtor
Realtors have access to one of the most powerful home search tool available: the MLS. Listing data is broadcast to the local real estate community on a minute-by-minute basis. In other words, when a new listing comes on the market, your agent can send it two you much faster than any other method available. The best part is that using an agent to assist you with your transaction comes at no cost to you, since she is compensated by the seller (in this case the bank) at the close of the transaction.
2) Browse Realtor.com
Realtor.com is a great resource to use when looking up foreclosure listings, since it is the only website that updates data frequently per what is available in the MLS for your local area (normally once every 24 hours). The only downside of Realtor.com is that when displaying listing information the website does not include the most recent data available for a home. Listings displayed could be under contract or pending a closing. Thus, it’s the second best way to find foreclosure listings, without the assistance of a Realtor.
3) Visit your local county clerk’s office
Another great (and completely free) way to scope out the latest foreclosures on the market is by making a stop at your local county clerk’s office. Courthouses around the country are required to post upcoming foreclosure auction listing onsite. This allows potential buyers an opportunity to visit and look at the exterior of a property before the auction, and help them decide if they would like to bid. In today’s technology centric world, most courts will have the foreclosure listings available online as well. Simply do a Google search for, “Foreclosure listings for [insert your county here]” to discover if the list is available online. If not, the visit to the courthouse will only cost a little bit of gas money.
Overall, these methods eliminate a need to use the “pay per view” or “monthly membership” foreclosure site, and these are viable, intelligent alternatives to assist you in the buying process. Happy house hunting!