Free Foreclosure Listings

There are numerous lists kept by government, bank and commercial lenders detailing properties for sale by foreclosure. You should be cautious, however, of trusting just any listing service, especially those that require fees. It is important to know the information provided in a list is accurate and reliable. Keeping this thought in mind while researching free foreclosure listings will ensure you get what you pay for.

There are a multitude of foreclosures on the market today. When a home loan is not paid back within a suitable time frame, the lender will take possession of the house. The home will then be resold, usually at a price lower than market value. Loss of employment, divorce and deaths are the most common reasons such measures are taken.
 

Where to look

Although real estate transactions are public information, comprehensive lists of foreclosures are not always free. Companies that compile the information on these homes will often charge for their lists. There are places, however, to find free listings.

Good places to look are local newspapers and other regional publications, especially if you are focused on one specific area. As homes are transferred back to lenders, the information will be published in legal notices, though searching these can be tedious work.

A quicker, more reliable search method is through the Internet. Because of the amount of home foreclosures available, the number of Web sites offering free foreclosure listings has grown. The style of these Web sites can vary. Some simply offer a free trial to research listings and then require payment at the end of the trial period. Others offer continuous access, but the information may not be as good. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains a free list of homes throughout the country. Like most other sites, you have to provide your name and location information before being able to view the listings.
 

Making the right choice

Free listings may be most beneficial for first-time buyers and real estate investors. First-time buyers have the luxury of a tax-exempt status, an early bidding window, free inspections and no current home to sell, which could hinder the process. Real estate investors benefit by paying a reasonable price for the home and then selling it for a profit.

If you are new to buying foreclosure properties, a real estate agent can help you go through free listings of homes and pick out your best options. An agent will also be familiar with purchasing a foreclosed home, a process that can be more complicated than a normal home purchase.

The best advice to follow when dealing with foreclosures is to be cautious. Free foreclosure listings can be a great place to look for a home at a reasonable price. Make sure they come from a reliable source, and you will be able to make home foreclosures work to your advantage.

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