Pre-Foreclosure Lists and Guide

By: Robert Lam

Pre-foreclosure lists: What they are and why you need them

Tens of thousands of foreclosed homes are sitting on the market. It's easy enough to find them, but how do you find the real gems -- the homes that are on the brink of foreclosure? Turns out it's easy to find them, too. Just use a pre-foreclosure list!

What is pre-foreclosure?

Pre-foreclosure is the initial stage of the foreclosure process. The lender posts official notice that the homeowner is in default on their loan payments. It's a serious warning from the lender, but the homeowner can still avoid foreclosure by catching up on their payments.

The benefit of pre-foreclosure lists

Pre-foreclosure lists are exactly what they sound like. It's simply a list of many area homes in pre-foreclosure. The benefit of pursuing properties in pre-foreclosure are that the homeowner and the lender are highly motivated sellers. Both parties are anxious to avoid foreclosure. You can get the best deals by snapping up a house before it's actually been foreclosed on. In fact, the price can be dropped by as much as 50%!

Pre-foreclosure lists contain thousands of homes. If you keep your pre-foreclosure list up to date, you'll have time to research the property before buying it. These lists are a valuable, reliable resource for real estate investors.

Where to find pre-foreclosure listings

The best pre-foreclosure lists are the product of elbow grease and solid research. There are at least four good sources of pre-foreclosure listings you can access at little to no cost. You can seriously miss out on a great opportunity if you rely on just one source. Combine the results from each of the four sources for a top-notch list.

1. Public records: Lenders post public notices when a house is going into pre-foreclosure. Hoof it over to your county record office to access these notices. These records are freely available to the public, but expect to pay a few cents to have copies made.

2. Pre-foreclosure websites: The old standby: surfing the net. A quick search will turn up numerous websites that specialize in pre-foreclosure listings. Some sites are free, and others charge a per listing or monthly/yearly membership fee. At the very least, you'll be able to turn up the basic contact information (name, address, telephone number) of the homes listed.

3. Newspapers: Pick up your local newspaper to read "Notice of Sale" advertisements. Be sure to get your copy hot off the press, so you can be the first to jump on a promising opportunity.

4. Lenders: Because it's to their benefit, many lenders will provide you with a pre-foreclosure list if you simply ask.

Different types of pre-foreclosure properties

Each type of property comes with different challenges and benefits. Find a listing that's divided up into sections so you won't waste your time looking into a government foreclosure if you're only interested in bank foreclosures. You can focus solely on your specialty.

Obviously there's the standard bank foreclosure, but there are also different government foreclosures, such as HUD and VA foreclosures. You can also check out impending court auctions. If you prefer to work directly with the homeowners, look into "for sale by owner" properties.

An accurate pre-foreclosure list can help you hone in on the opportunities that fit your resources and knowledge. Rather than hunting around through stacks of newspapers or bookmarking twenty Internet listings, combine them all into one well-organized list, and you'll be way ahead of the game.

For other helpful foreclosure information, check out the ebook.

Foreclosures
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