For 99% of people looking for a deal, the best is often to look for homes listed as real estate owned being marketed by a bank and usually listed with a local agent.
See my page on my website about foreclosure procedures in California at http://www.maureenmegowan.com/convertedpages/foreclosures.html on my website http://www.maureenmegowan.com .
Call me at 310-541-6416 if you have any questions or would like some help
As stated by the other agents, you should work with a Realtor. It doesn't cost you the buyer to work with an agent.
Please feel free to contact me for a list of pre-foreclosures, foreclosures and bank owned in your area and price range.
Don't be "RealtyTrac'd" in the wrong direction!
RealtyTrac's primary objective is to separate you and the Dollars in your wallet on a monthly basis for information any RealtorÂ® can provide you for FREE. RealtyTrac is NOT a "distressed property MLS", they are simply using Trulia to take public record notices and syndicate the information to the web.
There are three steps that have to take place before a property can be sold as a foreclosure. Here's a quick diagram explaining the process of actually getting to the status of an actual foreclosure and being sold to the Bank or a 3rd Party transferring via a Trustee's Deed:
As far as having the most up to date listing information for ACTIVE listings team with a local RealtorÂ® who can set you up with an automated search for what you can afford.
BEFORE you start seeing property, obtain a "True Pre-Approval" (your most important step in my opinion). You MAY need to improve your credit score, increase cash reserves, etc. before buying; however, at least you will have a roadmap to eventually purchasing if this is the case. Furthermore, this step can save you from wasting money on a purchase that does not close escrow!
"Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers"