There are foreclosure listings available from many sources. You can even download free foreclosure listings online from various locations. But these listings have generally already been picked over before you ever see them.
Some of these free listings are old listings. They may have been around for weeks or even months, rendering them all but useless. Once a list has been around for a couple of weeks, the best properties on it are long gone. Any properties left generally need far too much work to be a sensible purchase, or they cost too much to make a decent profit.
Many people get their listings through real estate agents, but you may need some connections to get your hands on these. These listings are usually very fresh and very high-quality, but agents often don't want to give these out.
For one thing, many agents invest in real estate on the site. Those that do aren't likely to divulge the whereabouts of the best properties in the area, because they're hoping to cash in on the properties first.
For another thing, foreclosures are generally cheap. If an agent does divulge these properties to you, any commission he or she might receive would probably be fairly negligible. It's in his best interest to get you to buy more expensive properties.
Other people find their foreclosure listings in their local newspaper. These rarely mention foreclosure. They look through their local newspapers for houses that are for sale by owner, then they call the owner or visit the home.
When you do this, you'll need to interview the owner and try to get them to tell you why they're selling. You don't want to spend too much time on this. If they don't tell you quickly, you should just let them go and don't bother. If they're desperate, they'll often tell you right away that the home is facing foreclosure.
But this method is time-consuming, so most people don't want to do this. They may have to call 20, 40, even up to 100 people to find a foreclosure. This is problematic when you want to make the most money for your time.
Perhaps the best way to find good foreclosure listings is to subscribe to a service that offers them. You'll want a service that updates at least weekly, preferably daily. Some services will email their members new listings every day, so you will always have the newest listings.
Fresh listings are critical to making very good money with foreclosures. Unless you get the very latest listings, you'll miss out on most of the most profitable properties. This is why it's worth it to invest a little into a subscription service that gives you the most recent listings.
Let's say you pay $40 per month for your subscription and you find just one home per month to buy and flip. If you make a $10,000 profit off that home, wouldn't you say your $40 membership was worth that and much more? These listings can make or break your success, and they're well worth the small investment.
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