Foreclosure Listing Services Review
Why Use a Foreclosure Listing Service?
The days of physically visiting a county courthouse for foreclosure listings are so last century. The best foreclosure websites have abstractors who collect property information at local courthouses and then post the results online for your convenience. If you have the expertise, fortitude and patience to buy properties that are in foreclosure, a foreclosure listing service helps you to winnow buying opportunities. To learn more, feel free to read our articles about best foreclosure listings. Three services rise above the rest: RealtyTrac.com, Foreclosure.com and Foreclosure Deals.
Foreclosure Listing Service: What to Look For?
The best websites for foreclosed homes usually include other types of listings, as well as sophisticated search tools and multiple avenues to customer service. Let’s expand on these criteria one by one.
To buy foreclosure homes, you first need to know what’s available. And in order to zero in on the best candidates for your purposes, you will want as much detail as possible before bidding on bank-owned properties. Therefore, the best foreclosure listing services are those with the most listing details. The least useful are those sites that disclose neither the loan information nor the sales history.
As you select a foreclosure listing service, be aware of the types of tools available. Most sites post informational articles, community demographics and listing alerts. You can also usually find graphs showing median list and sale prices, plus property details. However, you might have to search carefully to find sites that also provide state-specific laws, crime reports and school information. Most of the sites that we reviewed host online mortgage calculators, but some have more types of calculators than others. Some services can inform you whether the owner has filed for bankruptcy, information that might be useful during negotiations. Sometimes the most important tool is access to the real estate agents that represent the bank foreclosures. Banks develop long-term relationships with their Realtors. So it is a good idea to connect with Realtors in the areas that interest you, even if none of the listings on any particular day or week meet your criteria.
Customer service is important to consider as you build your short list of best foreclosure websites. Check on the quality of online help and tutorials. And if you anticipate having to contact customer support, understand how you can reach help. Unfortunately, the customer service you will experience at the hands of the bank that you buy bank-owned homes from is likely to disappoint. As you probably know, bank-repossessed houses are sold as is, and the bank officers responsible for selling foreclosures are not likely to respond in a timely fashion.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) publishes statistics about foreclosures. One out of every 200 homes in the United States will be foreclosed upon. Every three months, a quarter of a million families enter into foreclosure. Foreclosure statistics tell a sad story for those facing foreclosure. However, the same statistics translate into opportunities for those in a position to buy bank-owned homes.