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How do I get a list of homes in default?

When you’re fishing around for bargain-priced homes to buy, one way to get an inside track is to try to dig up a list of homes in default. “Dig up” is the operative phrase here, as these types of things aren’t necessarily floating around in public. You’ve got a few options to look at when trying to do this:

-The lenders: Depending on the friendliness (for lack of a better term) of a particular bank’s representative, you might be able to simply call a bank, ask for the REO asset manager, and inquire about a list of homes in default. Sometimes they don’t want to disclose that information, and sometimes they’ll oblige — every person and every bank is different.
-An agent: Agents have a different relationship with lenders than the general public. If an agent calls one of his or her contacts at a bank, the list of homes in default should be easier to obtain. Agents also have access to professional resources where they get this information.
-The internet: Ah, the internet — where would modern commerce be without this? If you Googled “Homes in default” you’ll find dozens of sites claiming to have “insider lists” of homes in default. Some of these are legit, some of these aren’t. (Isn’t that how everything on the internet is?) I personally trust www.foreclosureradar.com, and I know that companies like Bluesheets can be effective.

Ok, so you’ve done your homework and you’ve got your list of homes in default. You want to swoop in and try and make a move before any auctions or sales occur. How do you do it?

Well, that’s where an experienced agent comes in. Trust me, these negotiations aren’t simple — after all, you’ve got a lender with a lot of money at risk here and a homeowner in a dire situation. An experienced agent can go in, talk the talk and walk the walk, all in an effort to make every party happy, including the person looking to buy the home. Namely, you!

Israel Gonzalez
Real Estate Broker

The views published here are the opinions of the writer and are not a substitute for legal counsel.


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