The foreclosed home buying market is tight. And for good reason. Many people have learned that they can buy properties for a fraction of their value if they buy foreclosure or foreclosed properties. In order to help people find such properties and further their own business, many companies have started offering a free home foreclosure listing to potential buyers. But these free guides are not always worth the hassle.
One reason why this type of foreclosure listing may not be worth the trouble is that finding distressed and foreclosed properties in your area is not that difficult to do. Foreclosure listings are public record and can be accessed by everyone at the local courthouse. You can also contact local lending institutions in your area to find out what properties they have foreclosed upon. You can do all of this for no charge.
Granted, finding foreclosed properties on your own can take hours of research. This may make a free home foreclosure listing look like an easier alternative. But even with a free listing, you will have to browse through the countless national listings to find listings in your area. The listings might not even be up to date or accurate when you find them because many listings are generated through huge databases.
Buying foreclosure properties has also become very competitive with many potential buyers vying for the same property. A foreclosure listing that is available to everybody may not give you the competitive edge you need to find the investment opportunity or home of your dreams. In most cases, you can learn of a property quicker and in more detail if you perform the work yourself.
With that said, not all listings are a waste of your time. There are some reputable ones out there. You just need to know how to find them.
The first thing to look at in a free home foreclosure listing are the dates that the properties were listed. Since many foreclosures sell within days of being listed, an outdated list is not going to do you any good. Make sure that the dates are current and the listings fresh and unsold.
You should also be wary of offers from broad sources that promise to give you free listings in exchange for signing up for their free newsletter. In many cases, these types of foreclosure listings are only offered as a way to build lists of subscribers’ personal information that will eventually be sold to marketers. Most of the time the information that they give you in return is generic and useless.
Once you get a listing, do not be afraid to put it to the test. If the properties are not local, if they are not current, or if they do not contain accurate information, do not use the list. The chances of finding and purchasing an ideal foreclosed property with an outdated, unspecific free home foreclosure listing are very slim.