Foreclosure in Akron>Question Details

Cindy, Home Buyer in Cuyahoga Falls, OH

how do you find foreclosures without paying a fee.?

Asked by Cindy, Cuyahoga Falls, OH Fri Jun 13, 2008

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35
well JR........ when i have contacted realtors for foreclosures, instead they keep giving me regular listings.
and i still can't find one that will give me a list, or even one for that matter.
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Your area is likely different, but I don't have lists of foreclosures. I know of the foreclosures that are on MLS but I don't have lists. Are these "regular" properties in your price range or too high? I have a suspicion what the problem is. What do you say when you call? "Do you have lists of foreclosures?" There are areas where realtors hear this all the time and they know that foreclosures are not always the bargains the public thinks they are. Where I am, in a resort area, it's "hi, do you have any 'handyman specials' under200,000? It doesn't have to be a big lot but at least a half acre and doesn't have to be near the beach but that would be nice." Frankly Cindy, if there were raging bargains out there we would all by buying them up because we'd hear about them first.

My suggestion is rather than starting off with asking about foreclosures, visit an office and ask to speak to someone who is a buyer's agent. Ask if they have experience with short sales and foreclosures, and ask them that AFTER to explain to them your situation. "Hi my name is Cindy, I'm a first time buyer, these are the areas I am looking in. I am prequalified for $X amount, and I don't mind doing a bit of work, so I would be interested in a short sale or foreclosure too." Try a different approach and you may have more success with a realtor. Just a suggestion. Let me know how it works.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 23, 2008
No fire sales?? I've seen a few lately!

I love how realtor's won't give you any straight forward information unless they have you in their back pocket.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 14, 2008
carl...........WHY DO YOU CALL ME A BOTTOM FEEDER???????????? I OFFERED THE PRICE MY GUY TOLD ME TO, AND IT WAS ONLY 2000 LESS THAN WHAT THE SELLER'S AGENT SAID WOULD BE A GOOD OFFER.

I SIMPLY WANT TO BUY A HOUSE........NOT AN INVESTMENT, BUT A HOME TO LIVE IN.

I HAVE THE MONEY SO DO NOT SEE THE PROBLEM AS TO NOT BEING A BUYER.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO.......PAY THEIR COMMISSION IN ADVANCE?!!!!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
don......i have been looking at regular listings, as that is all i seem to get or find on my own. once in awhile i find a short sale.

alot of listings around here they want top dollar. the market has fallen hard here and yet they still want more than they paid for it a year or two ago. alot of listings have been on the market over a year.

i also have answered some investors ads wanting to sell off their properties, but so far they are all in the inner city and i am not interested in living there at any price.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
To find foreclosures, a Realtor can help. Or go to your local courthouse.

Regarding "fire sales," "Educated and Dangerous" is correct; there are "fire sales" out there. It's true you have to define your terms. I wouldn't select "x% under original listing price," though. The listing price may have been too high. Similarly, some foreclosures look like great bargains because they're 30% or so under what the previous owner paid. Again, not necessarily a bargain.

Rather, I'd define it as "x% under current comps." It's very easy finding properties 10% under current comps. It's easy finding them at 20% under current comps. Beyond that, it's more difficult, but I know investors who are regularly finding them at 30%-35% under current comps. And that's all over, geographically. I'm mainly familiar with the Washington, D.C., area. So: Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland. But I know investors all over--North and South Carolina, Michigan, California, Florida, Texas, Baltimore, Maryland--who are buying properties (yes, buying, not just looking for) at 30%-35% under current comps.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
MVP'08
Contact
I've been looking these up myself. Sometimes I find things my realtor didn't even know about -yet. Try the direct foreclosure listings on bank websites as well as this website:

http://my.freeforeclosuredatabase.com/ohio/ohio_foreclosures.php

Also, when you look at MSL listed properties - keep an eye out for things listed at lower than the area price - as well as anything saying " AS-IS" "Bank owned" or " corporate owned".

In our area especially, I have seen them simply fly to sale - some don't even stay listed 2 days. If you plan on buying one- have your pre-approval and funds ready and have a realtor before you even go to look.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 26, 2009
I am curious if Cindy has found that "lucky" agent in Cuyahoga Falls and bought a home? and whether the advice given here helped in any way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 1, 2008
Cindy,
I really didn't mean to call you a bottom feeder. I do not recall exactly what your offer versus price and certainly don't know the market value in Cleveland area. Was it offer 99K for 150K price? On the surface it appears to be a "bottom" or very low offer.
Agents can miss the number that a seller will accept, plus they change. I had one where the price went up when the heirs put a little fix up into an estate sale. It telegraphs that the price is maybe firm becuase the LP went from 269K to 273K. Will they take less? Many buyers might think, no, probably not. But then there have been no offers at any price so who knows.

All this advice is good but there is no absolute one answer. Each property has its own drama. An agent can look at the tax records for the previous sale price and estimate the equity, as the example posted on bought in 2000 or before. Probably has some wiggle room in selling. But you see, spending time searching for such a property then must pass your test for desirability, condition, location etc. If I was there, I would look at MLS for areas you want. Of those that look promising, I would check the tax records for history. I would call the seller's agent for info. An agent likely would not but you could go to town hall and look for unlisted properties in trouble.

How about this. Since you know where you want to live, knock on some doors in that area, of homes that roughly look like the price range, and ask questions. It's not like you will buy anywhere in Ohio or even Cleveland or Cuyahoga Falls. Pick your 'hood and walk and talk to people.

By the way, how is the financing part of your offer? Credit score, down payment ratio, payment with taxes within 1/4 to 1/3 of income? FHA or conventional? These things can be factors in your offer acceptance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 23, 2008
Cindy:

Thanks for answering my post. You raise valid points. A few observations:

You write: "alot of listings around here they want top dollar. the market has fallen hard here and yet they still want more than they paid for it a year or two ago. alot of listings have been on the market over a year."

You're right. That's a problem. And it's still happening. It's taking sellers a long time to realize the market's changed. One problem you're probably running into is that if they bought just a year or two ago, they have no equity and probably are "upside down," owing more than the property's worth. They can't afford to sell for less; they can't afford to bring money to closing. The strategy there is to look for properties with equity. It's difficult to determine for sure (people could have refinanced their homes and taken their equity out a year or two ago), but the strategy investors use is to look for properties that were last purchased more than x years ago. In today's market, that often means looking for owners who purchased around 2000 or before. There are relatively few foreclosures in this category, but there are some very good values. Especially if you look for people who are retiring and may have owned their homes for 20 years. Or properties owned by someone who has died, or has moved to an assisted living facility. Often, they owned their homes free and clear. Now their relatives--often their children--simply want to get rid of the house. Their top concern is getting rid of the property for a reasonable amount, not selling for top dollar.

You also write: "i also have answered some investors ads wanting to sell off their properties, but so far they are all in the inner city and i am not interested in living there at any price." That's fair, and it's a good description of a large segment of the investor market. But different investors specialize in different things. I know a number of investors who specialize in inner-city Baltimore. They'll buy a shell for $20,000, rehab it for $50,000, and then either sell it for $140,000, or rent it out for about $900 a month. It makes them money, but if I were doing what you're trying to do, no, they wouldn't have what I was looking for. But there are other investors who specialize in other sorts of properties in other geographic areas. Most investors are pretty specialized, so you may have to contact a number of them. Here's one clue: Drive through areas you'd like to live in and look for investor signs. If they're marketing in the more desirable areas, that means their business model is to buy in those more desirable areas. And those are the ones most likely to be able to help you.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 23, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
MVP'08
Contact
HERE IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND ON AN OFFER, YOU LOOSE YOUR EARNEST MONEY WHICH IS $1000 OR MORE.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
well JR........ when i have contacted realtors for foreclosures, instead they keep giving me regular listings.
and i still can't find one that will give me a list, or even one for that matter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Cindy:

With all due respect, you've been given a lot of good advice here, but seem to be reluctant to accept it.

There have been a lot of suggestions to use a Realtor. You responded: "I HAVE ASKED ABOUT 2O SOME REAL ESTATE AGENTS AND NOT ONE WILL GIVE ME THAT INFORMATION." While I believe you--no reason not to--that's a very unusual experience. Maybe, somehow, you've been asking in the wrong way? It's incredibly easy for a Realtor to set up a search for newly listed REOs, and then to have those listings e-mailed to you daily. Almost as easy as leaving the box clicked here on Trulia "Email me when answers to this question are posted." Just contact a Realtor and explain that you'd like to receive listings of any new foreclosures/REOs as they come on the MLS. That's really all you have to do. Specify, if you wish, what geographic area, what price range, and so on. But, frankly, I wouldn't even suggest that. See what you receive. Then you can ask the Realtor to fine-tune the search.

Brad advised: "hud.gov is a great place to look online for forclosed homes in your area. It also give you some info on foreclosures." "Educated and..." advised: "Also, some of the lending institutions have their bank owned properties listed on their corporate websites. Additionally, there depending on the state, there are FREE websites that allow you to search through the HUD listings." That's a good suggestion, and it doesn't look like you've directly responded to it. It takes a bit of effort (not too much, though) to identify some of those sites. But you could find most of them using Google and 60 minutes of time.

"Debt Free Dave" advised: "Put out the I buy houses signs on every corner." Your response was accurate: "AND WHO WOULD CALL ME ON A FORECLOSURE ANYWAY??????
THE BANK...........I DOUBT IT." Putting out bandit signs is not a good way to find foreclosures. However, it's a great way to find pre-foreclosures--properties before a lender forecloses. Investors do that successfully all the time. You also responded: "AND WHO WOULD CALL ME ON A FORECLOSURE ANYWAY??????
THE OWNER..........NO WAY. THEY ARE GETTING KICKED OUT SO WHY WOULD THEY FIND SOMEBODY TO HELP TAKE THEIR HOME AWAY FROM THEM??????????????" Incorrect: Owners are looking for any solution to their problem. They want to avoid a foreclosure. Many of them just want out. They want to stop the phone calls from the collection agencies. They want to stop the pain. You also commented that people who respond to the "We Buy Houses" signs are: "PROBABLY PEOPLE WITH DUMPS AND NOTHING I WANT OR WOULD EVEN FIT." Some yes. Many no.

You wrote: "i am more than eager to buy. i wanted to buy and be moved by the end of may." I believe you. But understand that, even if you'd found a Realtor who did everything you wanted a few months ago, buying foreclosures can be a long, tedious, and uncertain process. That's even more true with short sales. While I encourage you to keep looking for those, look at regular listings, too. There are some bargains in those. And not all foreclosures and short sales are bargains. So, rather than focusing on foreclosures or short sales, focus on what you want to buy and the price you want to pay for it. If it's a foreclosure, fine. If it's not, so what? You'll be able to buy what you want for the price you want.

One other quick tip: Carl doesn't like "bottom feeding" real estate investors. That's OK, but they're another source for below-market properties. They've already put out the "We Buy Houses" signs. They've already bought (or tied up using an option) properties at 30%-35% below market value. Many investors "wholesale" their properties. Sometimes to other investors. Sometimes to end purchasers such as yourself. They've done all the work. Yes, they expect a profit, but you can still get properties at well below retail. Contact some local real estate investment clubs in your area, or call the numbers on the "We Buy Houses" signs and explain what you're looking for. They'll help.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Cindy, the simply answer is you find an agent, they know the foreclosures. You do not need to find the foreclosures yourself, and then get an agent. Let the agent work for you an d find you a good deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
DZ.................WHEN DID I EVER SAY I DON'T WANT TO BE A CLIENT????????????????????

I WOULDN'T ASK FOR THE LIST IF I DIDN'T WANT TO BUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
WRONG JR.............I DON'T WANT FREE ADVICE. I WANT TO BUY A HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
The link below is not free. As a member of GS MLS I can provide, because I pay for it, a search of properties on the market. Sellers list with realtors to try and sell before loosing their home inforeclosure. Banks list with realtors in order to rid their books of property and expenses (taxes, maintenance). However, unless a prospect is serious and behaving like a buyer, agents will not waste time, since they only get paid when someone buys. Believe it or not, an agent must spend as much effort in learning who is going to buy and who is not as they do showing, writing, driving, learning, negotiating, solving, prospecting, and advertising real estate. Frankly, someone who has spent a lot of time avoiding realtors and trying to do what they do on the cheap, is just the person the agent does not want to spend time with. They disquise themselves well sometimes and only reveal their true identity when they have to, such as placing as offer with a realtor. The tipoff is their offer is 30% or more lower than asking price or about what they think is owed on the property. So you see, after all that time, the offer is unlikely to be accepted. Thankfully there are not a lot of such 'bottom feeders' but enough to keep the best agents constantly testing the motivation of the buyer. Good Luck anyway.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
BEST ANSWER
work for free............they make darn good money when you buy a property, so they are hardly working for free.
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And zero money when you don't. You are asking for free advice from people who like to be paid, yet you don't want to pay. See the disconnect?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
That's my point, Cindy. Yes, you'll need to find someone you want to work with, but give them your name, social, and sign that form and then you'll get what you want.
I would walk into a larger real estate office in your area, talk face to face with an agent...even if you sign that form and aren't happy with the agent, you could go to the broker to assign you a different agent from that office.
I've got an agent here who'll bend over backwards for me, but he knows I will use him. I've got no problem pre-qualifying with his lender, and I've got no problem signing that form.

You said
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work for free............they make darn good money when you buy a property, so they are hardly working for free.
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What I said was, How much work do you expect a Realtor or anyone else to do for free?
If you've made it clear you don't want to be a client, don't expect to be treated like a client.

If that agent has to pay for that list, why wouldn't they only provide that service for CLIENTS and not just anyone who calls or send them an email?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Maybe you can see why I say, there are no fire sales in real estate. What appears to be a distressed situation, a foreclosure owned by the bank which does not want to own real estate, is not easy to obtain especially with a deadline of 'in by May' unless you mean 2009. Then you may be able to get in. Reliable info is hard to come by (not impossible). Unless you want to buy in LasVegas or some area with major inventory excess, prices will be near market value. If you want to test what I am saying, make an offer atl ist price and see what happens. You can withdraw it in attorney review or within 3-business days depending on local custom where you are. All this just to get a property below market value? A 'fire sale' implies any offer, just take it away. Again, I claim they are rare if at all, exceptions noted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
hud.gov is a great place to look online for forclosed homes in your area. It also give you some info on foreclosures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Dz......the latest one i asked claims he has to pay to get the list and until i give him my nazp and social se

curity number and sign a form to work with him exclusively, he will not give me any at all.

work for free............they make darn good money when you buy a property, so they are hardly working for free.

i am more than eager to buy. i wanted to buy and be moved by the end of may. if you don't buy the first house they show you, they get mad and disappear.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
elaine......your link does not work. if you take the i off then that site you have to pay to get them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Cindy,

I can relate to your frustration with finding those foreclosures. The best source will be a local realtor. I know you've asked 20, however you may need to ask your question in a different way to get the info you want.

Educated says,
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"I love how realtor's won't give you any straight forward information unless they have you in their back pocket."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Although I don't believe that's entirely true, there is some truth to that...and why not!
How much work do you expect a Realtor or anyone else to do for free?

Some people are making money by selling the information. Realtors make money by giving the information to clients who will use them to buy a home.

The information is there, however, to get it free from a realtor, it may be delivered in a different form than the massive lists (with outdated info) available instantly on your computer. The free lists are usually put together by a local realtor to promote their business. It's possible no realtor has done that in your area and even if they have, it'll still be tough to find. It doesn't mean you won't be able to get the foreclosure info...but you may have to get in someone's back pocket to get it.

I would interview local agents and ask them if you agree to use them as your agent, are they able to show you foreclosure homes that would meet your needs. Realtor will naturally give better and more complete service to someone who can show that they're a ready, willing, able, and loyal buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
PROBABLY PEOPLE WITH DUMPS AND NOTHING I WANT OR WOULD EVEN FIT.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 16, 2008
BEST ANSWER
WHY ON EARTH WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT????????????
I WANT TO BUY ONE HOME NOT A HUNDRED.
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I would seriously consider doing that, Cindy, you will be lucky if you have 2 people call you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 16, 2008
AND WHO WOULD CALL ME ON A FORECLOSURE ANYWAY??????
THE BANK...........I DOUBT IT.
THE OWNER..........NO WAY. THEY ARE GETTING KICKED OUT SO WHY WOULD THEY FIND SOMEBODY TO HELP TAKE THEIR HOME AWAY FROM THEM??????????????
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
WHY ON EARTH WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT????????????
I WANT TO BUY ONE HOME NOT A HUNDRED.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Put out the I buy houses signs on every corner.
Web Reference: http://GetPrequalified.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
well i would like to find some near akron, ohio.

most places list them, but with no addresses and photos. then you have to pay to get the info.

turlia does not give the addresses and they give you a link to pay...........and they are outdated.
there was one on there and they gave the street name and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the square feet. so i went thru the tax records of 60 houses on that street and only one matched. i drove by the house was gorgeous. then come to find out it sold in february for $130,000. it was a foreclosure the bank got back at a sheriff sale. the person bought the house last year for $280,000. TALK ABOUT A BARGAIN OR A FIRE SALE. those people got a good deal. somebody told me they probably knew somebody that worked at that bank to get that kind of a deal. the listing is on trulia right now so that is how outdated it is. i'm glad i didn't pay to find out that old, no good information!!!!!!!!!!!

AND I HAVE ASKED ABOUT 2O SOME REAL ESTATE AGENTS AND NOT ONE WILL GIVE ME THAT INFORMATION.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Well, I'm not sure of the level of information that you are looking for, but a starting point would be where some of the MLS search sites (Trulia included) have search filters that includes foreclosure properties.

Also, some of the lending institutions have their bank owned properties listed on their corporate websites.

Additionally, there depending on the state, there are FREE websites that allow you to search through the HUD listings.

The information is out there, and no, its not as easy as some of you might want it to be - but if you are savy enough on the computer, you can do enough homework to have pretty good idea of whats available!

As for the "fire sale" if you are going to use ambiguous terms, you'll get ambiguous answers - what do you consider a "fire sale"? Would you consider a home selling for over $150K less than its original listing price a fire sale? (S$450 - L$275K) How about (L$495K - S$375K). I hear of "steals" all the time - and usually are at the end of long listing periods, or short sale situations. And by the way, I live in Indianapolis, IN.

Make them earn that 7%, but don't put all your trust in them.... In my transaction history, I've never walked away feeling that the realtor has done nearly enough to earn the paycheck that they did.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Ask a realtor. And "educated" where have you seen fire sales? Not that I doubt you have, but since I haven't seen any I am interested in knowing where they are. Detriot maybe?

Then you can take a break from your personal attack and tell US where you get get foreclosure information without paying a fee cause there aren't any with reliable information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
You have seen a few 'fire sales lately', properties priced at a fraction of their value? Really? Where would that be?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Cindy,
To put it simply use a local realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
You could go through the courthouse records.
Web Reference: http://GetPrequalified.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
Any realtor can help. Look on any MLS web site. Listings have to be labeled as foreclosures, bank owned, or third party approval required, or similar language. Expect "as is", needs work, no credits for condition, market price for the local area. There are no fire sales in real estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
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