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How to Find Foreclosed Homes
How to Find Foreclosed Homes

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to find foreclosed homes you can invest in.

Zoe Z Littlejohn avatar
Written by Zoe Z Littlejohn
Updated over a week ago

One of the keys to investing in real estate is buying low and selling high. Whether you’re a seasoned real estate investor or are looking to become one, investing in foreclosed homes is a great way to enter the market. But finding foreclosed homes is often easier said than done. Fortunately, ServiceLink Auction makes it easy to browse homes scheduled for a foreclosure auction that you can invest in. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to find foreclosed homes, so you can start investing in real estate to increase your income and grow your real estate business.

What Is a Foreclosure?

Before exploring how to find foreclosure homes to buy, let’s uncover what a foreclosure is. A foreclosure occurs when a homeowner fails to make their monthly mortgage payments, resulting in the mortgage lender seizing the property and selling it to another person or entity to make up for the negative mortgage balance.

For a borrower to have their home foreclosed, they must default on their loan a specific number of times or fail to meet agreements in the mortgage contract. Because most mortgage contracts list the home as collateral should the owner fail to make payments or meet other terms, the lender can take the property and sell it to recover the balance. It’s important to note that foreclosure laws vary by state, but the foreclosure process is typically lengthy, with foreclosure being the final step.

Understanding what a foreclosure is can help you determine whether investing in one is right for you. This is because purchasing foreclosure homes may pose some challenges, such as competition, a delayed transaction process in certain states due to occupancy status and buying the house “as is.” However, foreclosures may also come with many benefits, such as a high ROI, building equity, and a clear title on the home. Ready to start investing? Let’s dive into how to get a foreclosed home below.

How Do You Find Foreclosures?

After learning about foreclosures, you may be wondering how to get foreclosure listings. There are a few avenues you can take to start building your portfolio. Depending on your preferences and circumstances, consider one of the following options for finding foreclosed homes below.

  1. Online Auctions

    One of the easiest ways to find foreclosed homes is through online auctions. By searching for the best foreclosure websites, you can search various properties for sale from the comfort of your home or office. ServiceLink Auction is a great example of an online auction website where you can find foreclosed homes for sale. As you search our inventory of foreclosed homes, you can filter properties based on various factors, such as square feet, the number of beds, the year built, and more. With the ability to compare properties in real-time, you can find investment properties that meet your needs.

  2. Live Auctions

    Before online auctions came live auctions, which are still prevalent today. Live auctions can take place at a courthouse, the property, or a convention hall. When partaking in a live auction, it’s important to know what to bring, how to bid, and to be prepared to pay in cash up front.

  3. Government Websites

    Another way to find foreclosed homes is by scrolling through government websites, such as:

    • Fannie Mae

    • Federal Housing Administration

    • Small Business Administration

    • Treasury Department

    • Internal Revenue Service

    These government agencies have their own online foreclosure listings across the country that you can search through. In some cases, you may need to send an offer through a real estate agent or directly on their website.

  4. Driving Through Neighborhoods

    If you have an area you’re looking to invest in, set aside time to drive through the area to look for homes with foreclosure signs. If you spot any foreclosed homes, write down the contact information of the real estate agent on the sign, get in touch and even ask about other homes in foreclosure in the area.

  5. Real Estate Agents

    Our final tip on how to get a foreclosed home is working with a real estate agent. Real estate agents have deep networks and access to several resources like the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that give them access to foreclosed homes. If you’re interested in investing in foreclosed homes, look for an agent that has experience buying foreclosed homes to ensure you’re getting a good deal.

Things to Consider When Looking for a Foreclosure Listing

As previously mentioned, there are a few drawbacks to investing in foreclosed homes, which means it’s important to know what to look for before purchasing a foreclosed property. Some factors to consider when looking for a foreclosure listing include:

  • Price: Homes are a significant investment, including foreclosed homes. Always look at the price to ensure you’re getting a property at fair market value. When bidding wars happen, prices can increase dramatically, so make sure you know the home’s worth to ensure you’re making an educated financial decision.

  • Liens, taxes, title, and liabilities: Before purchasing a foreclosed home, it’s important to do your due diligence to understand the foreclosure sale process. This is because foreclosed homes are sold “as is, where is,” which means you may be responsible for any liens, taxes, liabilities, or the title attached to the home.

  • Home’s history: Often, you can research a home’s history to find historical information on any changes that have been made to the property.

Contact Us

Now that you know how to find foreclosed homes, it’s time to get started. At ServiceLink Auction, we make it easy to find and buy homes in foreclosure. Contact us today to see how our team can help you start investing in foreclosed homes. In addition to foreclosures, you can also browse bank-owned homes and our auction calendar to see when new properties get listed.

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