One option for prospective home seekers is to use a pre foreclosure listing to locate properties in specific areas that may be currently on or shortly entering the market. Buying using a pre foreclosure listing can allow the home seeker to contact the current homeowner before the foreclosure is put into place, meaning that the buyer and work directly with the homeowner and the lender.
When the property is in foreclosure, the house is then put up for public auction, which can be a riskier proposition for both the buyer and the lender as prices can be significantly lower for the lender or much higher for the buyer depending on the bids on the house.
There are some people that feel that using a pre foreclosure listing service is taking advantage of homeowners that are in financial difficulty. There is no question that there are some companies and investors that do exactly that through misinformation, scams and unscrupulous behavior. However, most people using a pre foreclosure listing are offering a fair market price based on the location, condition of the home and the acceptance of the offer by the homeowner and the lending company if the mortgage is to be assumed.
There is no doubt that the homeowners are very motivate to sell and typically the houses in pre foreclosure will sell well below the original purchase price, however typically the market itself is in a downward cycle. In addition the current homeowner, by selling prior to foreclosure, avoids the negative hit to his or her credit score and maintains their good credit record.
There are several different options to using a pre foreclosure listing. The first option is to use a real estate agent that will use the list to screen for homes or properties that meet your basic requirements and price limits. The real estate agent can also contact the owner and set up a meeting to discuss options. The second option is to subscribe to a pre foreclosure listing service on the internet, which gives you access to pre foreclosure properties throughout the United States or just in one particular state or area.
The websites will range in subscription price depending on how extensive the service is. Some sites will provide a lot of information in the pre foreclosure listing while others will only provide a property location and perhaps a general description of the property. If you are shopping for property in a distant location, look for sites that offer pictures, video of the property, contact information and market evaluations and appraisals of the property. While these services will be more expensive to join, they will save you hundreds of dollars in travel expenses and search fees to locate owners and actually see the property.