What are the best websites to search for foreclosures? Are there any free sites?

Asked by Sharon Stevens and Dwight Cole, Saint Augustine, FL Wed Apr 9, 2008

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Eric, , Los Angeles, CA
Sun Jan 23, 2011
Hey Sharon,

There are definitely free ways to get foreclosure information, however, you need a lot of free time to get it :)

If you're like most of us, and don't have a lot of free time, might be worth getting a free trial to one of the aggregate sites, I've checked out most of them, saves me time in the beginning of my search. Definitely not the final stop though.

If you're not ready to spend a few bucks, either contact an agent you trust, or pull together the info from bank websites, courthouse lists, go talk to your county clerk, etc.
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Jared, Home Buyer,
Wed Apr 16, 2008
This one has links to most of the other banks listings. It takes a few more minutes since you have to search each bank, but the end result is "direct from the source."
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Rick Sharga, , Irvine, CA
Wed Apr 16, 2008
Sharon -

I'm biased (since I work there), but if you're looking for a comprehensive foreclosure listing database, you won't find a better one anywhere than RealtyTrac. We collect data directly from public records in the county courthouses in over 2,200 counties (94% of U.S. households) and update the database twice daily. In addition to breaking out the listings by type (in FL, that's Lis Pendens, Notice of Foreclosure Sale and REO), we add property characteristic data (beds, baths, etc.), comparable sales, estimated market value, loan history, owner contact information and aerial or street level photography of the properties. We currently have over 1.5 million properties in the database, which is as current as the public records that we source (so yes, there is occasionally some lag time between when a transaction happens and when local records get re-posted). But it's a great source to use in conjunction with your local MLS.

Keep in mind that MLS rules vary pretty widely when it comes to foreclosure property listings: some require properties to be noted as bank-owned, some forbid it. Most don't note properties that are in the early stages of foreclosure (Susan's note below is a good case in point - short sale properties are almost always in foreclosure, but may not be noted as such on the local MLS).

You're in a state where some counties do post the Lis Pendens (initial notices of default) filings online. If your county does this, it should be a free service. You may also want to research which law firms handle most of the foreclosure activity in the state (for a directory of firms, go to http://www.usfn.org); sometimes these firms have free websites listing upcoming auctions. The trade-off for "free" vs. "paid" sites is usually money vs. convenience. Only you can decide which is best for you.

If you're interested, we do free monthly "Foreclosure 101" webinars for agents and brokers who are trying to gain more expertise in the foreclosure market. You're welcome to sit in on one, if you'd like. Feel free to e-mail me and I'll get you on the list - rick.sharga@realtytrac.com
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Susan J Penn,…, Agent, Weston, FL
Tue Apr 15, 2008
I have found many web sites saying they have foreclosures and when I look up the property address online with my multiple listing system, I find the house is not a foreclosure, or the house is a short sale which may or may not ever be a foreclosure. Find a realtor who has the multiple listing system to help you. I am with a full service company, EWM and we have a referral department , if you need help with a realtor, email me at penn.s@ewm.com. Thanks!
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Myke Atwater, Agent, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Wed Apr 9, 2008
I do not like realty trac--information is old and misleading--not updated very often. I would highly recommend checking into your county website for upcoming foreclosure sales, or contact a realtor--MLS now has (at least in our area) a category of foreclosure and short sale that a realtor can then email you listings that come up that have been foreclosed or are "short sales". Information from a realtor or the county site are free for you as the buyer!!
Web Reference:  http://www.MykeTriebold.com
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Becky Hedgco…, Agent, Williamsport, PA
Wed Apr 9, 2008
I believe you want realtytrac
0 votes
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