You're smart to want to get in on these foreclosures, and you're even smarter for knowing that the best deals are bought within days of going up on the MLS.
As far as "where to look", Port Charlotte, North Port and Punta Gorda are the foreclosure sweet spots for sure. We work with banks to list foreclosure properties, so my team is well versed in the foreclosure market down here. There is a lot to be aware of but for the most part the buyer comes out with a great home for a wonderful price.
As far as getting the most recent foreclosure listings, what we typically do is have the MLS set up to send out the list daily to your email. That can be useful because we can set it up to only send you properties that match what you're looking for - (we can set parameters based on square footage, age of the home, etc.). This makes finding the good deals easy because they come right to your email every day.
As far as being able to jump on the good ones when they come out on MLS, even though you're in Pennsylvania, a member of our team could go out to the house that you're interested in, take TONS of photos for you, email them to you and you could make an offer based on our photos all within 24 hours probably. This is done a lot and, especially if it is to be an investment home, you could buy the property sight-unseen if necessary. Or, as we're submitting the offer you could make plans to come down and see it for yourself.
The foreclosure market is unlike the regular real estate market and you do need an agent who is:
1. VERY familiar with foreclosures and the foreclosure process
2. Familiar with contracts and all the necessary foreclosure addendums
3. Experienced with foreclosures in THIS market; we've lived and worked in North Port/Port Charlotte for over 20 years.
If there's anything we can do to help you out, let us know! Good luck on finding your dream investment property and have a great day.