How can I view a home in foreclosure that isn't listed by a realtor (there is no lock box on the door)?

Asked by Rhottinger, Indianapolis, IN Mon Dec 13, 2010

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Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Apr 5, 2011
You will have to wait until it is actually list, it could be a pre-foreclosure and the owner still owns it or it could have foreclosed and the bank is going to clean it up before it is listed. Your best bet is to find a local real estate agent this is familiar with foreclosures and connect with them, they can show you others currently available and this property when it does come onto the market.

If you need a referral to a good realtor in your area, contact me anytime-I know a few.
Have a good day,
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
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Joanna Morris, Agent, Floral City, FL
Mon Dec 13, 2010
You will have to wait for it to be listed after the bank takes possession. I know James was joking but thought I would not go and knock on the door......that is not safe and the owner may not think it is funny.
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James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Mon Dec 13, 2010
Here's a tip if the property is occupied just go up to the front door and knock. Tell them it's public record that they can not pay their bills and you want to see the inside of the house before you decide if you want to bid on it at the forclosure action.
Be prepared to run like ****.
Even after tthe sheriff sale there is a chance for the owner to redeam the property so why worry about one? If the forclosure amount is a whole lot less than the property is worth check and see if it is a second or subsequent lien.
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Dec 13, 2010
If there is no sign and it's not listed on the MLS there's little chance of seeing the property from any other perspective than what you have seen all ready. Banks do not deal personally with buying and selling real estate. They depend on the services of real estate companies.

Your interest in a property that you feel is headed toward foreclosure would probably be best supported by a local realtor. They will be able to monitor the market and make you aware when it comes onto the market.

Good luck,

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William Wade, Agent, Indianapolis, IN
Mon Dec 13, 2010
You can't. Ask an agent to do some digging for you...
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Jackie Lovell, Agent, Indianapolis, IN
Mon Dec 13, 2010
When a home goes through foreclosure it is still in the process of finding all liens to include so that they can be in the foreclosure process to clear the title. And sometimes there are items that get missed so you definitely want to wait until it is listed in the "Sheriff Sale" before you buy. The Sheriff sale Issued deed is supposed to clear it from any and all previous liens. The Sheriff sale is what the bank initiates to have the property deeded back to them for the bank to then have ownership to resell the property. If you go to a Sheriff sale you will see an amount the bank sets as a minimum they would like to receive.. it looks as if the bank with the current defaulted loan is bidding on the property but they are NOT they are just setting their minium amount or listing the amount of Judgement deteremined with penalties and legal fees. They might still accept less at a Sheriff sale..but the Sheriff sale is not the most user friendly for folks without cash. In order for you to finance the home you will need to wait until it is listed with a real estate company. Even after the sheriff sale the home may not come onto the market for a few weeks while it is cleaned out and a fair market price is determined. If it was financed FHA then it will be listed with HUD. That typically takes longer because the bank that had the loan will first have it deeded back to them with a sheriff deed and then file the mortgage insurance claim with HUD, The HUD will not list the property until they have that remedied and then deeded to them.. sometimes 8-12 months after a sheriff sale...but typically I see the prices of these homes substantially lower than even the sheriff sale.
ALL reo properties (REO Mean "Real Estate Owned" for banks) are listed with local realtors. If you know a Realtor have them save a search for the specific address so when if first becomes available they can alert you. If you are interested in following the home's progress to sheriff sale got to go to the sheriff link and to monthly properties link. You can obtain an "brief summary" list of all properties in "each" month's sale for Marion county for $4.09 if you want a full report it costs $13.00... again this is through Marion County they charge for their lists. They usually have sales the Third Wednesday of each month. Usually they have 500-800 properties in every sale. In Hancock county you can go on their website and look up properties directly without having to pay a fee. I hope this helps. Thanks, Jackie

Jackie Lovell, Artisan Realtors, 5610 E. Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46219 (317) 332-7547
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Joe Shoemaker, Agent, Indianapolis, IN
Mon Dec 13, 2010

Great question.

"In foreclosure" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It might mean that the bank has only issued the homeowner documents indicating that they are proceeding with a foreclosure. It might mean that the homeowners are out, but the title has not been cleared. It may mean that the homeowners are out, the title has been cleared, but the bank has notyet decided to put the home on the market.

Regardless of the scenario, there really is no way to "jump the gun" on getting a showing. Until the property is listed as being for sale and proper procedures are in place to allow the general public inside (meaning that liability insurance is in place and the home has been examined to ensure safety of visitors), you'll have to wait.

Good luck in your search!

Joe Shoemaker
Principal Broker, REALTOR®
MacDuff Realty Group
317 413.8501
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Stephanie Ki…, Agent, Indianapolis, IN
Mon Dec 13, 2010
Is there a sign showing it is for sale? Most homes will sit vacant for awhile before the lender assigns it to be sold. It may not be for sale yet. What is the address I can do some research for you.
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Stacie Kidwe…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Dec 13, 2010
That means it is not listed yet - maybe it is not out of the foreclosure process yet. If you'd like, I can call you when it is listed. Please email me at with the address of the property and your contact info and I will keep my eye on it for you.

Stacie Kidwell
Advanced Realty LLC
(317) 436-4004
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Kimberly R.…, Agent, Indianapolis, IN
Mon Dec 13, 2010
if it is a true foreclosure and bank owned you will have to find out who the bank is and try to contact them to see the home. more than likely since there is no lockbox on the door and no "for sale" sign in the yard you won't be able to see the home inside.
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Dec 13, 2010
If the property is not listed with an agent, it may not be on the market yet; have you checked with any local realty office on it's status.
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Heather Fitz…, , Indianapolis, IN
Mon Dec 13, 2010
If it is a preforeclosure, the larger banks wait until it is an REO property. Has it been foreclosed on for sure?

If not, you would need to find the owner.

Are there winterization stickers yet on the property? If so, the company that did that might be able to tell you who the bank is that they winterized the property for. If it is a small bank, then you might be able to get or have an agent get more info for you.
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