Home Buying in San Mateo>Question Details

Joann Savory, Home Buyer in San Mateo, CA

How can I get a free list of foreclosures (not Realtytrac!), with all info (address, amount, etc.)?

Asked by Joann Savory, San Mateo, CA Fri Feb 6, 2009

Every online link to foreclosures is for some company charging for the info, when really, isn't it all a matter of public record? Even the county link goes to Realtytrac!

Help the community by answering this question:



When you say you want to get a list of foreclosures, are you saying you want to buy property from owners before they lose it in foreclosure? Or are you saying you want to go to the foreclosure auction?

If this is your intent, I believe you should re-consider.

The best buys in the market are REOs - real estate owned by banks and other lenders - who have foreclosed and take title to the property. Several of my clients have recently purchased REOs for about 50% of their previous sale price. Most if not all REOs are listed on mls. Have your agent search specifically for REOs - that is where you will find the best deals.

Let me explain by thinking....

Consider you have an owner that owes $400,000 on his house and for whatever reason he can not make his payments - so the lender starts foreclosure proceedings by filing a notice of default - this process in CA takes 3 months and 21 days minimum.

If the property is worth $500,000, this owner can put his property on the market - sell tomorrow for $450,000 and walk away with $50,000. Why would this owner walk away from $50,000 cash - the answer is: he would not!

If the house is now worth only $350,000, he can not sell the property without lender approval of a short payoff.

Say the property does go to the foreclosure sale, the bank's minimum big would be their loan amount or $400,000 plus back payments, unpaid taxes, penalties etc.

If the property was worth only $350,000; why would anyone bid $400,000 at foreclosure auction? Again the answer is - he would not.

Bottom line the only properties that go to foreclosure HAVE LITTLE OR NO EQUITY. If there was equity, owner could sell cheap and get at least some cash out.

So the smarter strategy is to let bank foreclose - take title and put on market as an REO.
Based on my experience in listing and selling REOs, the bank would probably put this property on the market at $250,000 - get 6 offers and sell for $310,000.

Trust me after 31 years in the business, the best buys are NOT foreclosures - it is a myth - the best buys are REOs.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of any help in finding you a DEAL.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 6, 2009
Joann, buying forclosures on the court house steps is very risky if you do not know what you are doing. Once in a while you can find a good deal, but rarely.

First of all, you are not allowed time to inspect the property. Second, sometimes there are liens that are unknown to the buyer at foreclosures. A few months ago even some pros got burned at the court house in Redwood City.

REO's is the way to go. You can have them professionally inspected and you also have time to put your loan in place. One other thing, If you were to buy a foreclosure, you would have to pay cash.

If you need help finding REO's, contact me or find another local full time agent who knows the area, has a lot of knowledge, and is very experienced.

David Tap Tapper
Cashin Company
Web Reference: http://www.Teamtapper.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009
Work direct with realtor providing your specifications via MLS postings FREE, sent automatic email when a foreclosure posted in MLS based on info. provided.

Websites with monthly fees are usually outdated, not accurate info. vs MLS governed by realtors board state for accurate info. posted. Build a relationship with local agent.
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009
Thumbs up,Arn for a good & helpful answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009
I do provide a list of all the bank owned properties in San Mateo County and Santa Clara County.
Just go to
http://Peninsula-REO.com/ or

Feel free to contact me if there is any questions.

Yu Lam (Eddie Lam)
Century 21 Realty Alliance
Web Reference: http://www.RealtorLam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009
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