How to Find Foreclosure Homes at Great Prices
Many people looking to purchase a home try to find foreclosure homes because the prices can be quite reasonable. In fact, there are times when they are even listed below market value, or can be purchased at an auction below market value. Sometimes a mortgage foreclosure could have been avoided if the homeowner had met certain criteria and filed for bankruptcy, which may have at least delayed the process to some extent to give them time to dig out from the financial hole they were in. In any case, the homes were foreclosed on which put them back on the market. It is these homes that often provide a way for homebuyers to find a home within their price range, and it is only a matter of finding one that meets their needs.
Where to Find Foreclosure Listings
If foreclosure homes are listed in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) they could have been entered in the system by a licensed realtor. While it is possible to find this type of listing online, you will notice that they are either on the website of a Real Estate Brokerage, or mentioned in a foreclosure listing. If the property is not listed on the brokerís website, you will find very little information regarding the property. You would need to contact the broker who has the listing (listing or sellerís broker) or go through your own broker (buyerís broker) to find all the listing details. Price may be listed, but the address and other information may be withheld.
Mortgage Foreclosures Listed by the Lender
Quite often foreclosure properties are listed on the lenderís website. For example, bank owned homes that were awarded back to the lender when the borrower defaulted on the mortgage loan could be listed on that financial institutionís website. A prime example would be banks like Bank of America, or CitiMortgage (Citibank) have searchable databases on their websites. Some smaller lenders may contract realtors to list their foreclosure homes in the local MLS, but when the lender is a large financial institution, most likely the property would be listed with them.
What the Lender is Looking for When Listing Foreclosure Homes
One Ďtipí that has helped many homebuyers get a good price on a home is understanding what the lender is looking for when listing foreclosure homes. Of course the financial institution is in business to make money, but they will often be willing to settle for just about what is owed to them on the loan so that they donít lose money. Yes, they may have that home listed for tens of thousands of dollars above and beyond what was owed on the property, but they probably expect to be offered less. The trick to finding out what was owed on the house you are interested in is looking at public city/county/state records filed with the courts. The foreclosure amount is listed on the property appraiserís website. With that information in hand, you are in a position to offer an amount just above what was owed (taking into consideration court costs the lender accrued.) They may counter offer somewhere in between the asking price and your offer, but eventually a deal can be reached.
Whether you are a first time homebuyer or are looking to relocate, foreclosure homes often offer prices that are reasonable and at times below fair market value. The bank is interested in recovering their losses and may be willing to settle for what they have invested in the property. Understanding foreclosure listings can help you find a home that is within your budget.