Got RealtyTrac? I hope notâ€¦.
Yes, they have foreclosure listings; however, there is a process of getting to the status of an actual foreclosure for sale. See:
RealtyTrac looks to charge you a fee to obtain foreclosure information - this same property status information can be provided to you for FREE by most any RealtorÂ®.
Also, as evidenced by RealtyTrac, be aware there are different levels of property information accuracy on the web. See:
â€œMLS Data Accuracy â€“ Where to search if youâ€™re â€œwithout RealtorÂ®â€
if you only want accurate information. http://tinyurl.com/ctr4d44
If you are serious about buying a property find a RealtorÂ® and ask that a custom automated MLS search agent be set-up to make sure you are seeing property actually for sale.
Be sure to also obtain a "True Pre-Approval"?
Basically, there are four types of "foreclosure" property. Here's a quick relative risk/difficulty scale for distressed property (1 being the most risky):
1) Trustee Sale-
You personally go to the County court house and bid on a home you probably have never seen the inside of, nor will have the opportunity to fully investigate. Seasoned investors need only apply. Cash/Cashiers check only, no financing.
2) Auction Company Sale-
A little better, at least you have a seat in a packed room where the auctioneerâ€™s primary job is to get the highest offer from a much larger group than #1 above has. You are buying â€œAS-ISâ€. Do you have the ability to gauge cost of repairs you might see? This option is best for those who can walk a home and calculate refurbishment costs on the fly IF an investigative period has been allowed. Perhaps, you might even attend one to see â€œhow the sausage is madeâ€ and how comfortable you would be if you went this route.
When a property does not sell via #1 or #2 above you eventually see it come on market via a RealtorÂ® MLS. You will still needs the skills to evaluate property condition and the good news is your RealtorÂ® will be helping you to do so along with professional property inspectors you hire. The downside of an REO is the Bank typically only sells "AS IS" (meaning, the Bank will not typically make repairs even if you identify an issue) and the Seller's property disclosures are limited to what is statutorily required by law.
4) Short Sale-
While there is nothing chronologically short about this option (plan on 60-90+ days before a Lender approval) it nonetheless is the closest relative to the non-distressed sale. The only real risk with these transactions is the underwhelming boredom and the overwhelming mystery of why it takes so long to obtain an Approval(s).
Many Buyers make the mistake of only focusing on distressed property due to a belief they are cheaper and less difficult to buy than non-distressed property - this simply is not the case.
Good luck with your search! Please work with a professional RealtorÂ®, which you can find at http://www.realtor.org/rofindrealtor.nsf/pages/FS_FREALTOR?O