There’s a lot of competition to find great foreclosure deals.
Finding them is only one part of the process – you also need to know how to capture them.
Here are a few secrets from the pros that we’ve used with great success on how to find great foreclosure deals.
1. Comb through the same listings everyone uses.
There’s a lot of ways to access local foreclosure data and your surrounding area – and foreclosure.com does a relatively good job of combing through default notices, bankruptcies, tax sales and distressed asset lists. The main drawback with on-line resources like that is there tends to be a lag time in the time they get the info on-line… so the data can be a bit old sometimes.
2. Search the lesser-known publications sometimes used by smaller lenders.
Most of the publications in are indexed and captured on-line, but every once in a while a lender will mistakenly only publish in a smaller circulation if they think it meets the legal requirements. These notices are the notices of default that lenders are legally required to publish in public record. Those are one of the first places you can find out about a foreclosure.
3. Establish great working relationships with at least one broker.
When you’re starting out as an investor, you’d better not burn any bridges – especially with the power real estate brokers.
The best of the bunch (and that’s a very short list) work with dozens of investors, and they know exactly who is looking to buy what property – they’ll call the ones that they know will close the deal without hassles to them. Once you’re off the short list of folks who get the calls, you probably won’t get back on it. There are too many credible investors looking for great deals for them to bother dealing with rookie mistakes. Interview a few, and make it your intention to give all your business to one person.
Make it clear what that broker must do to earn and keep your business, play fair and never compromise your integrity. If you have to fire that broker, do so with grace and it will be a learning experience for everyone. But don’t ever fire a pro on a whim. Be incredibly loyal and it will come back to you in countless ways over the years.
4. Find people before their properties are in foreclosure and help them before a default notice gets published.
This one is probably the hardest and most time-consuming method, but it is one of the only ways to avoid the competition of lots of speculators that descend upon any published foreclosure like vultures to a fresh kill. Speaking of which, you don’t win in this business by treating people like roadkill. Remember that your reputation is everything, and act with integrity.
People facing foreclosure are in very difficult circumstances, and they need help – not predatory behavior. When we’re able to help people negotiate short sales, lease options and other complex transactions, everyone wins – and no one loses. Behaving with integrity helps us to get amazing referrals and special deals that never hit the open market. People remember what we’ve done for them, and when their friends and family need similar help they send them to us.
5. Find niche specialists like our firm who know how to find foreclosures for you.
We’re not real estate brokers, so we don’t sell information or give away crummy lists.
The properties we advertise are our own investments, so it’s a short but exclusive list.
We’re focused on building a small, tight network of long-term investors who want to purchase credible real estate investments. We find good deals and pass them along – while keeping a reasonable return that allows us to stay in business.
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