If foreclosures are listed on the MLS, where are they listed? How can I get access to those lists?

Asked by Joan Rosenberg, San Diego, CA Wed Mar 11, 2009

I am confused about the foreclosure market. We have been looking for awhile and have seen short sales go off the market because they now become foreclosures. Then the property never appears on the MLS again. Where does it go and how can I find the list of those in foreclosure that aren't on the MLS?

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Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Wed Mar 11, 2009
For San Diego county this might interest you or explain some things....
2 votes
Kari Shea, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Mar 11, 2009
Hi Joan,

Here is how that process works:

When the property goes into foreclosure, the bank has to file the notice of default
After the notice is filed, it get's scheduled for public auction on the courthouse steps downtown
If it sells (some do, most do not), then the new owner takes over the process
Part of that process could be eviction if the property is occupied.
If it does not sell, the bank goes through the process of assigning it to one of the agents in their network
The agent has many tasks to perform before they can list the property
Often, the agent has a list of potential buyers from outher foreclosure listings
If they have one that wants to buy it, it never gets listed
If it does get listed, it can take 3 to 6 months from the time the bank takes it back from the owner

I know this is a lot and there is more to it as well.

Hope this helps,

Mark and Kari Shea
San Diego Real Estate Experts
Foreclosure, Short Sale & Investment Specialists,
Development Opportunities & Traditional Real Estate
1 vote
Dawn Lewis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Mar 11, 2009

Hi, you need an agent that will have you 100% ready to go when the right REO that fits what you're looking for comes on the market. I would love to help you. Also here is a great blog post about San Diego Foreclosure Lists http://www.dawnsellssandiego.com/blog/2009/list-of-san-diego… . Also a link to my site to search for foreclosures, pre-foreclosures and auctions. http://www.dawnsellssandiego.com/SanDiegoForeclosures.amsp

0 votes
fredeckert, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Mar 11, 2009
You can go to http://www.chicagotitledefaults.com and register for free. You can search for Notices of Default, Notices of Trustee Sales and REO properties in multiple counties. Use my name as the representative. You have received good advice already and I don't recommend doing anything without sound advice from an attorney or a qualified Realtor.
0 votes
Seth Chalnic…, Agent, Cardiff, CA
Wed Mar 11, 2009
Good links Dunes, thanks, sc
Web Reference:  http://www.SethChalnick.com
0 votes
Diane Conaway, Agent, Escondido, CA
Wed Mar 11, 2009
Hi Joan,

Just to add to the previous answers: Sometimes it takes a very long time for the bank to assign it to a Realtor. I've been watching a particular house that was taken back by the bank about 6 months ago. If my client had interest in it, I would pursue it through the bank and possibly buy it before it ever came on the MLS. But, most banks have staffed up to be able to assign them quickly and get them in the MLS and then sold as quickly as possible. This particular house is in no-man's land which is I think your question. Eventually, it will surface for sale, but then everyone will know about it. If it's one you like, go for it! Good luck.

Diane Conaway, RE/MAX United, (760) 749-2888
0 votes
Seth Chalnic…, Agent, Cardiff, CA
Wed Mar 11, 2009
Hi Joan, good questions.

First, as you observed, the overwhelming majority of short-sales do fall out, mostly via foreclosure.

For a good post describing this, click here:

For a good post about the difference between the types of homes for sale, i.e. short vs foreclosure vs. resale, etc., click here:

As Katrina mentioned below, the list of NOT’s is a matter of public record. The easiest way to obtain the lists are to poke around online with keywords like “Notice of Trustee Sale” and “Notice of Default”, etc. and for a nominal service charge or membership, you can get your hands on some lists. Or you could go to the County Recorder’s Office and get mine the data yourself.

Of course, if you plan to buy these foreclosures before they hit the MLS there is only one way… and that is at Public Auction. Here you will compete against sophisticated investors who eat beginners for breakfast… and you will have to buy all-cash (i.e. without any mortgage financing). If this sounds intimidating, then your next best bet is to take advantage of the thousands of REO’s that are readily available on the MLS.

To find them, and more importantly… to find the ones selling below intrinsic value, you’ll need a realtor. There is no way to screen for only REO’s. One must review a search that includes all types of properties and a good agent, which is pretty much any agent who is still left in this business today can help you determine which are REO’s by reading the confidential agent-to-agent remarks. A great agent, will do this for you manually, instead of reactively waiting for you to identify homes you like. In exchange, the agents will likely expect your loyalty to go through them when they find you a home you love with great value.

In the end, don’t put too much stock in all they hype about good deals… most of the value in buying now, simply comes from not buying two years ago. There’s a 40% discount for you right there, at least in some markets. Of course if you do have all cash, but still don’t want to go the route of public auction, then a good agent can help you swing a big hammer when negotiating MLS listings too, whether they’re REO’s or not.

Go get ‘em!
Web Reference:  http://www.SethEstate.com
0 votes
Patti Philli…, , Carlsbad, CA
Wed Mar 11, 2009
Joan, You have gotten some answers to your question, so I won't repeat what you have already been told. I am wondering why you want to get a list of things that aren't on the MLS? Do you assume you will be getting a better deal or bigger bargains by finding homes not on the MLS? Just curious, wondering what you are trying to achieve?

Good luck in your search.

Patti Phillips
0 votes
Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Wed Mar 11, 2009
Joan, This site explains the process fairly well and you will find a lot of what you are looking for on it.


Good luck, dunes
0 votes
Katrina Hami…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Mar 11, 2009
Hi Joan,

You can obtain records from the title company that has a list of homes that are NOT's (notice of trustee sale). If they were a short sale and it did not come on the market as a bank owned, more than likely it was sold at auction. If you need additional information or would like a referral to a title rep who can help please feel free to contact me direct or via my website.

Katrina Hamilton
Direct: 858-405-4407
Web Reference:  http://www.downtownREOs.com
0 votes
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