Why Use a Foreclosure Listing Service?
When we selected foreclosure listing services to include on our list, we searched for services that make finding the right house for you easier by providing tools like advanced search options and multiple types of listings.
The top foreclosure websites have abstractors, who are people that collect property information at local courthouses and other sources, certify and then post the results online. If you have the expertise, fortitude and patience to buy properties in foreclosure, a foreclosure listing service helps you to winnow buying opportunities. To learn more, read our articles about best foreclosure listings. For our listing, we scoured dozens of services. Below we list the standouts whether you're comparison shopping, educating yourself about the process or looking for the best service that has detailed listings.
Best Foreclosure Service for Comparison Shopping
When you are looking for a house and comparing many properties at once, it is hard to keep track of where you saw what and what house had which features. RealtyTrac.com members can access over a million foreclosed properties. With all of this selection, it is hard to narrow down which property is the best for you.
RealtyTrac.com provides a tool that lets you compare up to five foreclosure listings at once. Using this tool, you can get a side-by-side view of the properties you are seriously considering. In this direct comparison, sort information so you see what is most important to you. For example, maybe you are most concerned with which house is by better schools. Or suppose choosing a house with the best price per square foot is your most pressing concern. With RealtyTrac.com's tool, you can weed out which houses don't meet your standards and compare those that do.
Recommendation for Comparison Shopping: RealtyTrac.com
Best Learning Center
Home or property buying is complex enough without the added complication of buying a foreclosed home. If you are new to property buying, it is important to understand the process, the laws that apply and the differences between purchasing foreclosed property from the bank and buying a regular property.
BankForeclosureSale.com provides informational articles and how-to articles for novice property investors. Its online knowledge center has detailed information about buying a foreclosed home including a buyer's guide, a foreclosure overview, information about different types of foreclosures and information about financing. If you are new to the process and need some serious education, BankForeclosureSale.com is a great place to start.
Recommendation for Learning Center: BankForeclosureSale.com
Most Detailed Listings for a Foreclosure Service
Sometimes all you need when buying a foreclosed property is a detailed list of what each house offers. However, there is a lot of variation between what details online foreclosure services offer. Some only include basic information about the property, like how many bathrooms it has and the total square footage, while others include more detail, such as its sales history and loan, tax, and legal information.
Foreclosure.com is one of the most detail-oriented foreclosure services. You receive information about each foreclosure property, including square footage, the number of bedrooms and much more. With this foreclosure service, you can view all of the available legal information about a property, the auction information and the equity estimate. You also have access to additional tools, such as crime reports and demographics. This is especially important if you intend to live in the foreclosed home.
Recommendation for Most Detailed Listings: Foreclosure.com
Best Tools for New Buyers
Buying a foreclosed home is complicated and understanding the process is the key to success. Zillow.com, one of the most recognized names in the online real estate business, provides a step-by-step guide for getting started and finding out what you want, from finding the best financing options for you to selecting the right home for your budget and lifestyle. Since this company operates nationwide, it will also match you with a real estate agent in your area.
More than just articles or videos, the Zillow guide provides a clear guide to the foreclosed property-buying experience. This comprehensive guide is best if you feel uncertain about entering the market and need something to accompany you each step of the way.
Recommendation for New Buyers: Zillow.com
Buying a Foreclosed Home
Buying a foreclosed home is a good way to get a great deal on a house. Since the bank is looking to unload the property, prices are likely to be lower. However, there are a few special considerations when you select this route to home ownership.
The first consideration is that these homes are bank owned and were repossessed after the owner was unable to make payments. Second, these homes are sold as is. In the normal home-buying process, there is a series of negotiations where the buyer and seller each make concessions. For example, maybe the water heater is old and needs replacing. So, the buyer would insist the seller replace the water heater before the sell is complete. When buying a foreclosed home, this is not an option. You simply take the house with all of its damage and potential problems. One last consideration is the paperwork. Since the home is owned by the bank, you will be required to fill out additional paperwork before the process is complete.
It is important to understand you will be working with multiple agencies when purchasing a foreclosed property. First, you use a foreclosure listing service, like the ones mentioned above and in our buying guide, to find the right property. However, that is just the first step. Once you find a property, the foreclosure website sets you up with a realtor in your area. It is important to choose a realtor with a good reputation and connections in the community, especially when buying a foreclosed property due to the extra paperwork requirements mentioned above. While some bank officers respond slowly to foreclosure requests, a realtor who has connections with your local bank can speed the process.
The home you select and the foreclosure listing service you use depends on the considerations and feature most important to you. We have narrowed the selection for you. Our articles on foreclosures and the following reviews are a good place to start your search process.