In today’s day and age, you don’t even need to head down to the courthouse steps to purchase a quality foreclosed property. All you have to do is crunch the numbers and log onto your computer to find a deal anywhere in the country. But you have to find a reputable website to handle the process if you want the transaction to go smoothly. Here is a look at some of the best sites to find foreclosed homes.
Best Free Foreclosure Websites
Realtor.com is a website run by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which features a database that allows you to search for properties in your area that are in foreclosure. The site includes basic information on the property, such as the number of bedrooms, square footage, and address. You can’t bid on properties directly on the website, but you can submit an email to the listing agent to find out when it will be going up for auction or perhaps put in an offer before it gets to that point.
Equator.com is a free online software for real estate professionals, vendors, and investors that features a database of foreclosures, short sales, and open market listings that are available through the Hubzu auction marketplace. Equator has a useful search feature that allows buyers to input their investment goals, making it easy to filter out any properties that don’t make sense for your strategy. The database also provides useful information on the property, including the home price, taxes, and the contact information of the listing agent.
3. FlipScout By New Silver
FlipScout from New Silver is a free online tool that allows users to find the most profitable real estate investments available on the market, including foreclosures. Users can search for properties across the country using a zip code, city, or address and instantly analyze important metrics like ROI, cap rate, gross yield, and more. The database can also be used to search for on-market properties or users can filter out just foreclosures and auctions. This useful tool is completely free and allows investors to make smart decisions about prospective properties before the auction.
4. Homepath and Homesteps
HomePath.com is a database run by the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae, that lists the foreclosures the company has for sale. A similar database Homesteps.com is run by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or Freddie Mac. These companies do not actually issue home loans but insure mortgages to lenders across the country. When a borrower defaults, they market the properties to investors and homebuyers. They oversee a large portfolio of real estate across the US, so this is another useful resource to find foreclosures in your area.
5. REO Property Sites
There are a variety of free databases run by private banks that list their REO Properties. Some of the most popular include WellsFargo REO Properties, CitiMortgage REO, and Bank of America REO. You can’t purchase the property from the bank itself, but the website will feature relevant information on the home and the contact information of the listing agent.
6. Zillow Foreclosure Center
The Zillow Foreclosure center is also free, serving as another great resource to find foreclosure properties. Apar from a huge selection of properties to choose from, Zillow’s foreclosure center also has some great articles on the how to buy foreclosure properties, together with other important tips and guidelines to follow.
Best Premium Foreclosure Websites
Aside from the free options, there are also a variety of premium websites on the market that offer users more advanced search features and information for investors.
1. RealtyTrac REO
RealtyTrac.com is a subscription-based database that tracks foreclosed and REO properties all over the US. Users are permitted to enjoy a free trial and then must pay a monthly subscription fee. The site features over 1 million distressed properties at a time and employs an expansive team of data collectors to gather information on foreclosures from courthouses and county records across the country. It allows users to search for foreclosures, bank-owned properties, MLS listings, auctions, and short sales, as well as collect and analyze property data to make intelligent decisions about investments.
RealtyTrac offers tons of value for money and allows users to save when acquiring multiple pay-per-fee records at a time. It’s a good platform for seasoned investors who are willing to pay the monthly fee to have access to a consistent pool of quality opportunities.
Foreclosure.com is another site that offers users a free trial that is followed by a weekly subscription fee. The database claims to offer the cheapest homes in America and allows investors to access the best real estate deals in the country before they are available to everyone. Plus, the site features an interactive map that allows users to search for properties anywhere in the country. The site is also very easy to use and features plenty of tools to help users understand the bidding process. It doesn’t offer as many analytical tools as some of the other sites, but it is straightforward, simple, and features a large portfolio of properties.
RealtyBid.com is a site that allows users to automatically place bids on a variety of foreclosure and bank-owned properties. It doesn’t have as exhaustive an inventory as some of the other sites listed. But it does have a unique feature that allows users to automatically bid on a property up to a preset price. So, you can automate the bidding process and avoid missing out on a deal because of internet lag or another technical malfunction. Users can search for properties and place bids for free. But if you win a bid, you will be charged an Internet Transaction Fee or Buyer’s Premium for using the site.
Those are some of the most popular sites that many investors use to find quality real estate deals all across the country. Buying foreclosed properties can be a great way to find a deal, but it also comes with its risks. Before diving in, you should consider whether or not it’s a good idea for you to buy a foreclosure, and carefully analyze the numbers before making any bids. But, if you do your due diligence, you can often find incredible deals using high quality property websites.