There are a plethora of places to look when you want to find foreclosure properties. The key is finding them before someone else does. You can find foreclosure properties on the web, newspapers, lis pendens lists, seminars, direct mail, word of mouth, friends, real estate agents, real estate offices, and lending institutions just to name a few.
The internet is a good place to search for foreclosure properties. Several foreclosure listing companies actually search out notifications of default and sell a subscription to those who are willing to pay for this information. Just remember, this is the easiest way to find properties, so beware of competition. Also beware that some of these subscriptions are just a way to make money and provide little or outdated information on these foreclosure properties. If you decide to test one out, make sure they give you a free trial period so you can see how current the listings are.
Newspapers are another great way to find foreclosure properties. All states are required by law to post a public notice of auction in a newspaper for all foreclosure properties. You can look up these notices and send a letter to them, call them or stop by. Another option, you have as a creative investor, might be to place an ad in the newspaper yourself to attract those who are in foreclosure. Believe me, if you have a good ad, your phone will begin ringing off the hook. You see, sooner or later the homeowner finally realizes they cannot save their home. Then when time runs out, they have no choice but to call, and during this time they are very motivated.
Direct Mail is one of the best ways to find the “GOOD" foreclosure properties. This is because you can talk to a person who is still in the pre-foreclosure stage and negotiate a nice discount on the property. There will be fewer investors that even know about the property, however, there is more work involved these kind of foreclosure properties.
Real Estate Agents are a good way to find foreclosure properties. Normally, banks that end up with foreclosure properties will hire an agent to represent them. Banks are not in the foreclosure business, they are in the lending business, so they too are very motivated to sell. Agents have connections and can get a list of some “bank-owned" properties.
Word of mouth is a technique that all the good investors use. Let it be known to everyone you come in contact with that you are a real estate investor who specializes in foreclosure properties. You should make some business cards as well that say “I specialize in foreclosure properties" and hand them out to everyone you know. You will be amazed what this will do for you. You may get a call from your friend's, friend's, sister's, friend who needs help avoiding the public auction.
There are so many excellent ways to find foreclosure properties. In fact there are many more than what are listed here. The idea is that it's a numbers game. You've always got to be working to find more deals. Find out which methods of finding works for you and go with it.
Eric has been helping people learn how to find and buy foreclosures using this guide. How To Buy Foreclosure Guide.