Real Estate Brokers

The foreclosure market continues to grow. As the economy shows more signs of a slowdown, this is likely to continue.

Foreclosures continue to make headlines in the news. The latest data showed some 243,000 in August, but more than double last year — and still with more to come with ARM s adjusting next year.

We have to go through the foreclosures before the market will move up again.

How much of a discount will I receive

If you buy a foreclosure. It varies by region, but using information published by real estate portal and foreclosure specialists RealtyTrac, discounts are ranging from 15% to 40% but most within 20% and 25%.

Finding Foreclosures
To locate specific foreclosures in your area, RealtyTrac is a good place to start. The site lists foreclosures by ZIP code and foreclosure stage, ranging from preforeclosure property to bank-owned real estate. It’s a broad and fairly deep picture of foreclosure availability in your area.

Some have found RealtyTrac less than precise, as the task of keeping up with foreclosure listing activity across the company is large, to say the least. And to get specific information on the property, RealtyTrac requires a $49.95/month subscription after a seven-day free trial.

But realize that RealtyTrac sits behind other real estate sites, so sooner or later you’ll probably run into RealtyTrac. If you’re serious about foreclosure shopping, you might want to sign up.

Combining sources
If you aren’t ready to make the financial commitment or “come out of the closet” as a registered foreclosure buyer, there are several other paths which work surprisingly well:

Bank sales. To their chagrin, banks and financial institutions are going into the real estate business in a big way. Too bad for them, but you can find a lot of bargains on their Web sites: Bank of America, Countrywide and U. S. Bank have good listings, to name a few. Countrywide, for example, has 300 listings in California alone priced under $170,000.

Agency sales. Banks sell their “REO” (Real Estate Owned) but often hire agencies to do the job. Such agencies include Keystone Asset Management, Lenders Asset Management Corporation and HomeEq Servicing. Some of these agencies may operate bank sites, so you may see a similarity.

Government and government-backed lender sales. Government agencies ranging from FHA and VA to HUD and the Department of Justice sell real estate, visible through a single portal. And government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also operate sites. The variety of properties available is, shall we say, wide, but Fannie Maein particular lists a lot of solid mainstream real estate values.

Auctions and auction houses. Local and regional auctions are becoming bigger as banks and others pile up inventory. A real estate auction specialist will announce an auction of dozens, maybe hundreds of properties in a large region or metro area. Auctioneers include Real Estate Disposal Corporation (REDC) and Williams & Williams. Experience helps in playing this game, although the auctioneer sites walk you through the process.

Local real estate specialists. A lot of agents know about action in a particular area and can hook you up with the sellers. Good agents have their eyes and ears to the ground at all times, and get tips and hear about stuff coming on the market. You can often Google”foreclosures (area)” to get local listings.

reward comes with risk
Remember that, while foreclosure properties often sell at a healthy discount, you may run into poorly maintained properties. There may be other foreclosures in the immediate area, hurting the quality and value of your investment. Double check other adjacent listings and visit the area if you can.

Remember: Good value investors buy assets at the right time in the right place at the right price. Real estate is no different.