Are you looking for great deals to be an investor or maybe just buy a cheap house for yourself to live in? You have probably learned that foreclosures are a great way to find houses for sale and find great deals too. Foreclosures seem like an awesome way to buy houses but it seems like a complicated process, well it is not. Before the internet, the way to find foreclosures was to go down to the courthouse and look at all the paper filed foreclosures. you would have to look through all the papers, find the property you like and go look at it. Then you could go on the court steps and bid against others on the property that you want to buy. This style is still used today but since the formation of the Internet, this process has been made easier and now you can go online, find the property, and bid on it from your computer. Here are my favorite ways to find foreclosures online:
HUD is the biggest site for selling foreclosures online and is run by the Housing and Urban Development department. HUD sells properties that were reverted back to them after the property was foreclosed. HUD will then sell these foreclosures to anybody that wants buy them. The only downside to this is that you cannot bid on the properties yourself unless you are a registered real estate agent who is registered with HUD. This means if you do not have your real estate brokers license you will need to go find a Realtor and make sure they are registered with HUD. Then they can help you bid on whatever property it is that you want. If 30 days goes by and nobody bids on the property then it will open to investors to bid on it, but if you want first dibs then you will need to go through a registered real estate agent first. I am a registered agent with HUD so if you need help then be sure to contact me.
If you have been active in a real estate market then you have probably heard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These two do most of the underwriting and conventional lending in the United States. Sometimes not everybody can pay their loan so the property will revert back to one of these agencies. Both of these agencies will list their property through the MLS but will require agents to make offers through Homepaths.com and Homesteps.com. Homepath.com deals with Foreclosures through Fannie Mae and Homesteps.com deal with foreclosures that were through Freddie Mac. This is another site that will require you to use a registered agent to help you make an offer on the properties you want.
These are all secondary websites that allow anybody to bid on the properties that did not get bought through the websites above. Here you can make a profile and start bidding on the properties that you want. These websites are not always credible because you may win an auction but it doesn’t mean that you get to buy the house. This really just gives the bank an idea of want you want to pay and if they like the price then they will let you buy it for that much. If it isn’t enough money then they can decline the bid. This is still a good way to buy foreclosures but just don’t let it get your hopes up if you win the bid. This is more of just a way for the owners/bank to figure out what people will pay for the home most of the time.
Sometimes the home does not sell at online auction or the courthouse steps then the banks will hire an agent to sell the house on the market. This process will require the bank to fix the house up so this might give you a move-in ready house if that is the option you want. If you are a rehabber then this will make the house more expensive than if you were to just buy it in an auction. Most of the time, if a foreclosure hits the open market then it will be priced at market value which means you will not be getting the best deal you can get for the house. To access the MLS you will need an agent but I can help you access to foreclosures on the MLS if you need help with it. Other than that you can go onto Zillow.com/Realtor.com/ Trulia.com and look for foreclosures. These will have the same foreclosures as the MLS but just not the info that the MLS offers.