How to find foreclosure listings
Recently I solved a mystery about finding foreclosure listings. I get asked a lot about how to find great deals on real estate. There are definitely lots of options, and I feel my best advice is to pick a system and be focused. It is important not to chase every new shinny penny.
Finding foreclosure listings is definitely one strategy. A common simple way is to watch for papers on doors and windows of homes that are in the foreclosure process. My wife Shelly can spot a foreclosure paper on a house from miles away. On the paper it will provide you with valuable information, such as the lawyer dealing with the transaction. We have often contacted people listed on these papers to see if we could work out a pre foreclosure deal.
If you have an owner in financial trouble, this could be a win win situation for you and them, however, in most cases, houses entering the foreclosure process have more money owing on them, then they are worth.
Another way in Halifax Nova Scotia is with an online publication called allnovascotia.com they list foreclosures once a week, however, it is not free.
You also do not want to forget the old school way, which is in the local paper.
Now, here is the best way, to access all the listings in your area. In the case of Halifax, Nova Scotia they are located at the Provincial Supreme Court on Lower Water Street.
I headed to the court house. I was a bit nervous, because I had no idea where exactly I was going, who to ask, or exactly what I was asking for.
I walked in to the court house and I will admit, it is a bit of an intimidating environment, however, the guard at the front desk was friendly and directed me to an office.
I did have to pass through a metal detector to get to where I was going, but I think that is pretty standard at every court house.
When I entered the office, there were several clerks behind glass. They seemed to all put there heads down as soon as I walked over, but I managed to get one of them to look up and point to a bulletin board with the information I was looking for.
There it was mystery solved. It turned out to be easier than expected.
I copied down the information, if you pay they do allow you to photocopy the listings or you can take a picture with your phone.
What the listings offer is a court date when the properties are going up for auction, the names of the owners, and the lender, and in most cases the balance owed.
It is important to note that just because a property is in the foreclosure process, it may not make it to the auction block (if a deal is reached with the lender), or the bank will not necessarily let it go for super cheap.
If you do go to a foreclosure auction you will need to have money set up and ready to go. In Halifax you require 10% immediately after winning a bid, and then you have 10 days to provide the balance.
I decided that since I also deal with a portfolio of properties in Digby, that I would search for a Provincial Supreme Court there. I did a quick google search and was able to find an address and phone number. I called and asked the following question (Digby Court House) Can I ask you a random question? The person that answered said yes. Do you post foreclosure listings? She said yes in the foyer. I asked could you fax or email them to me? She said no. I said ok great thanks.
I then called my area property manager and he collected the information for me.
What I would suggest you do, if you want to find free public foreclosure sale information is to google provincial supreme court and what ever province you are in. Then even if you want to see how the process works, write down a date and time for an auction and attend a sale.