How to Find Foreclosures and Seized Properties

Foreclosures often represent excellent investment opportunities, but it can prove difficult to find them before other investors. What’s worse, many sites promise to show you a database of foreclosed properties in your area, but they’re often filled with outdated information that you have to pay to access. Instead of wasting time with such tactics, try these proven methods trusted by seasoned investors.

Attend Foreclosure Auctions

By far, one of the most direct ways to find foreclosure opportunities is to attend the auctions for foreclosed properties. However, without prior research, it’s easy to end up purchasing a foreclosed property that is worth much less than the bank price, which is why all avid investors should spend time in advance looking at the properties that will be auctioned.

Use A Foreclosure Agent

There are many real estate agents who specialize in foreclosures. The Balance points out, they “sometimes wait weeks while bank management approves the list price, so you can get a jump on other buyers by asking about new foreclosures not yet listed.”

Working with a foreclosure agent can certainly give you a leg-up thanks to their knowledge of your local area and first-hand access to the MLS. They can also schedule showings for you and handle other parts of the process on your behalf.

Look for Notice of Sale Filings

Once a foreclosure sale date is set for a property, a “Notice of Sale” is sent to the owner. A copy of the notice is also posted on the property, so simply driving around can lead to some foreclosure leads. However, if you want to skip the legwork, you can head straight to the County Recorder’s Office where another copy of the Notice of Sale will be put on the public record. Local newspapers will also publish this Notice of Sale over a three-week time period.

This gives you three other methods for finding foreclosures, with the most time-consuming certainly being canvassing neighborhoods by car. Checking public records will take time, too, but it’s much more direct than the former. Of course, if you want the foreclosure opportunities to come to you, subscribing to a few local papers will give you an easy way to learn about new foreclosures in a local area.

Stay On Top of Notice of Default Filings

A Notice of Sale will be published once a property has entered the foreclosure process, but you can also get ahead of other investors by checking the County Recorder’s Office regularly for Notice of Default (NOD) filings. A Notice of Default is put on record after a property owner has missed payments for three to six months.

The borrower could bring the mortgage current again with the reinstatement period generally running until five days before the eventual auction date. Pursuing an owner who is in pre-foreclosure status could be profitable and, in the event that they do not repay their balance and eventually enter foreclosure, you could be a step ahead of other investors who may only hear of the property once the Notice of Sale is finally published.

Check Government Listings

Today’s technology makes finding foreclosures easier than ever before. If you choose to check government and bank listings, you can forego paperwork and newspapers altogether, just be mindful that this method will only alert you to certain types of foreclosed properties.

Properties financed by Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Treasury Department, and Small Business Administration (SBA) properties that are being foreclosed upon will be listed on the respective agency’s website. The department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) maintains a page that links to the various online listings for different agencies.

Check Bank Listings

Similar to how some government agencies list their foreclosures online, some major banks do the same. If you are interested in pursuing bank-owned foreclosures, check the online listings for major chains like Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank.

Utilize a Virtual Search Tool

The use of technology is certainly gaining ground as more investors realize the time-saving advantages it brings to the table, but searching on agency websites still isn’t necessarily the fastest or most efficient way to find foreclosures. Aside from having to search across a dozen different sites to find viable leads, the search process can also prove extremely tedious–especially if you have specific parameters in mind for the foreclosures you’re interested in.

That’s where a platform like ProspectNow will come in handy. With the help of predictive analysis, this tool will take the legwork out of finding your next investment opportunity. ProspectNow collects information from a number of databases and puts it into one intuitive dashboard where you can find pre-foreclosures along with the property that is predicted to sell in the next 12 months, giving you a range of potential investment opportunities.

When it comes to pre-foreclosure investment, ProspectNow will also give you easy access to names, phone numbers, and even email addresses for property owners, allowing you the potential to purchase properties directly from their respective owners before foreclosure proceedings even begin.

Find The Most Opportunities

Expert investors know that the best way to find the most opportunities is to come up with a strategy that works for your needs. The days of driving around and even checking local newspapers are coming to an end thanks to the many other more efficient methods of locating foreclosures and seized property in a lot less time.

Since every hour you spend searching for opportunities ultimately affects your profit, considering looking into an all-in-one tool that will improve your productivity and help you find properties faster. Click here to get started with ProspectNow for free.