Where to Find Foreclosed Properties

You may have noticed that I’ve been experimenting with using AI to write blog posts. Today I’m giving you a chance to compare. The first section of this post is an AI summary of my article. My original article follows. I think that the AI version is a lot clearer and more concise but I’ll let you be the judge:-)

Hi there! Are you interested in buying a foreclosed property? Foreclosures can be a great way to get a house at a discount, but it’s important to know where to look.

In this article, I’ll share some tips on how to find foreclosed properties. I’ll also give you some advice on how to negotiate a good deal.

Where to find foreclosed properties:

  • Bank websites: Many banks have websites where they list foreclosed properties. You can find these websites by searching for “bank foreclosures” or “foreclosure listings”.
  • Auction houses: Auction houses often sell foreclosed properties. You can find these auction houses by searching for “foreclosure auctions” or “real estate auctions”.
  • Government websites: The government also sells foreclosed properties. You can find these properties by searching for “foreclosure listings” on the websites of your state or county government.
  • Real estate agents: Real estate agents can also help you find foreclosed properties. They often have access to listings that are not publicly available.

How to negotiate a good deal:

  • Do your research: Before you start negotiating, it’s important to do your research and understand the value of the property. This will help you make a fair offer.
  • Be prepared to walk away: If you’re not happy with the seller’s offer, be prepared to walk away. There are plenty of other foreclosed properties out there.
  • Be patient: Foreclosure negotiations can take time. Don’t get discouraged if the seller doesn’t accept your first offer.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thanks for reading!


My article based on a podcast episode:

Any self-respecting real estate investor will tell you that buying foreclosed homes is a great way to save some money on your first – or tenth-  investment property.

But how can you find homes that are going up for foreclosure and get involved in the auctions before it’s too late and you’re just hearing about it from somebody else. Who has foreclosures? First, there are the banks. Every bank that does loans has some page on their website that lists the properties they have going up for foreclosure.

For example, if you type in Bank of America foreclosures, you’re going to be directed to their page, and it’s going to show you what properties they have coming up.

But you’ll also notice on the Bank of America page that they are giving those listings for the foreclosures to a specific real estate agent. And you’re going to need to contact that agent. So it’s not like you’re going to the bank to get a direct connect with the bank.

Some banks don’t do that. Some banks sell the homes themselves, and that’s where you can really benefit from checking out their websites, and some of them have an email list.

Some other places that you should definitely check into are auction houses, because even if the lender is not going with a real estate agent, and it’s on the M. L. S. multiple listing service, you can find them with the actual auctioneers who are going to be conducting those sales.

For example. auction.com is a good is a good place to start. You put in the area that you’re looking for, and they’ll tell you what auctions are coming up. They’ll also email you with whatever areas you’re interested in.

You might know that most mortgage loans are backed by the Federal Government, either by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. and they have their own websites where they list foreclosed properties or properties that have been bought back (REO).

There are three stages of a person losing their home: the pre foreclosure when the owner still has a chance to pay off the loan or to get caught up on the loan and keep the property. Then there’s the actual foreclosure auction. But a lot of times what happens with the foreclosure auction is the bank will set what they call a reserve, and that reserve is the minimum amount that they’ll take, which is normally the loan amount plus fees.

For example: if I owe $250,000 on a property and it goes up for auction, and the highest bidder will only pay $195k, then basically, the bank buys it back from itself at that $250,000, and then it becomes an R. E. O., a real estate owned, which is what lenders call a property that they’ve purchased back at a real estate auction. REO is the third category.

You can basically find the property in any of those 3 categories.  Pre foreclosure, which is a category that zillow likes to talk about, is a little bit tricky, because you’re trying to locate the owner, and you’re trying to negotiate with them when they don’t want to talk to anybody, because they’re often dodging the calls of their lender. There are also trespassing concerns and other considerations that you’d do best to talk about with an attorney.

To access foreclosure auctions,  you can sign up at the auctioneer’s websites. You can also look in your local paper because before an entity can foreclose on somebody, public notice must be given, so you can just look in your local newspaper in the Classified Ads for something that says: Official Notice. That ad will have the auction details. Your county clerk or your registry of Deeds will often have the information also.

There are issues like, what if the owner or somebody else is still living there, and you can look at another episode that we did talking about that and what to do. What if there are other liens on the property? You often can’t see the interior of the property before purchasing because the bank doesn’t yet own it.

The third stage, REO, in some cases can be the easiest to negotiate and to navigate. The bank no longer has to meet its reserve. Other liens and debts are paid off. The property is most likely vacant or has paying tenants and the Asset Manager at the bank wants to unload it. You’ll be able to view it like any other property, inside and out, have a home inspection, etc. It’s much less risky and often less expensive.

A great way to learn about what’s coming on for REO and foreclosed and potentially even pre foreclosure properties is to have a really good real estate agent who gets i:, who understands the whole process, who has been through the process and even bought some property at foreclosure auctions. Your agent may even have a seller who’s ready to do a short sale procedure – which we can talk about in a future post – that can help you buy the home at a discount.

You can network with those people. You can go to real estate investor networks and meet-ups. Investors oftentimes know that somebody or other is looking to sell a property, where they’re willing to take either a loss or not make a huge amount of money. 

Another thing you can do is to drive through neighborhoods that are statistically most likely to have people who are in distress. Typically, low-income owners are the ones who are most likely to have problems before everybody else. By driving through some areas where the homes are less expensive and looking for For Sale by Owner signs, you may connect with a seller who is hoping to save the broker commission by selling themselves because they’re having financial problems. You can also look for homes that are not being maintained, homes that look like they’re falling into disrepair.

Maybe it looks like nobody’s living there, and then you can either knock on the door and say: Hey, friend, can I help you out? I buy homes that are distressed. Looks like your home might be having a little distress here. And let’s talk about a way that we can help each other.

You can also write them a letter. You can write them a nice card or a letter. You can find the owner’s information on the town’s, or city’s website go into the Tax Assessor database and type in the address. You can also find the owner’s info on the County’s Registry of Deeds website.

Those are the main ways that you’re going to be able to discover foreclosure properties. I will put some links for you at the end of this article with some websites you can try.

I don’t feel like all of the sites are created equally when it comes to a specific area. You might find one that has a lot of listings in your area, and a person who lives in another part of the country might hate that website because it doesn’t have anything in their area.

Just shop around, use the various links and then discover some links of your own just by googling things like online or home auctions, home auctioneers, real estate auction houses, things like that to find some auctioneers that operate in your area.


If you want to talk more about this, you know I would love to talk to you. I love real estate investing, and everything associated with it. I hope this is an area that I can still do better than AI!

Links: There are links within the article. Here are some other options:

Zillow Foreclosure Listings
McLaughlin & Co – Massachusetts only
Sullivan & Sullivan – MA, NH & RI
Bay State Auctions – MA, NH & RI
US Treasury

Photo by Feyza Yıldırım: https://www.pexels.com/photo/hand-reaching-out-of-a-corn-field-12954810/

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