Where Can I Find Pre-Foreclosure Listings?

by on May 5, 2012Shannon O'Brien

One man’s misery is another’s opportunity. That, in a nutshell, sums up the foreclosure process. While the homeowner is typically labeled as “distressed,” the buyer, whether at auction, short sale or in a pre-foreclosure sale, is a “savvy investor.” There’s only one winner here, and it isn’t the homeowner.

pre foreclosure listingsWhen a homeowner stops making mortgage payments, the lender sends a Notice of Default (NOD), informing her that the house will go to auction if payments aren’t brought current. The day she receives the NOD begins the pre-foreclosure period, which, if the homeowner can’t come up with the money to cure the default, typically ends when one of three events occurs:

  • The homeowner sells the house to a third party.
  • The house is successfully auctioned to a third party.
  • The house doesn’t bring any buyers and the bank retains ownership. This type of house is commonly known as REO, or “real estate owned” by the bank.

Advantages of Purchasing a Home in Pre-Foreclosure

Pre-foreclosures generally offer the buyer less competition and lower prices than when purchasing at auction or a short sale. Additional advantages of pursuing pre-foreclosure properties include:

  • Fewer Mysteries: When you purchase a home at auction you generally have no idea about its condition and typically haven’t viewed the interior. When a house is purchased during the pre-foreclosure period, you have the opportunity to view it and perform inspections.
  • Flexibility: Dealing with a homeowner is always easier than dealing with a homeowner and a lender. Buying a pre-foreclosure also does away with the need to pay huge chunks of cash upfront or pay cash for the purchase.
  • Bargain Prices: Distressed homeowners willing to sell the home during the pre-foreclosure process typically just want out from under the mortgage payment, to avoid foreclosure and to move on with their lives. Houses sold during this time period usually go for what the homeowner owes on the loan, not current market value.

The challenge for the buyer lies in locating these properties. Pre-foreclosure buying opportunities aren’t “listed” in the traditional manner, such as in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). To find these homes requires a search, and there are a number of places to look.

Public Records of Pre-Foreclosure Listings

Foreclosure communications from the lender are considered public information and you can find the documents on file at the county recorder’s or clerk’s office. Although poring over county records is time-consuming, it is one way to find free real estate pre-foreclosure listings, sometimes before anyone else knows about them. Types of records to search for include:

  • Notice of Default: the NOD discussed earlier.
  • Lis Pendens: If you live in a state that requires judicial foreclosures, the lender files a lis pendens instead of a NOD.
  • Notice of Sale: This is the final notice to the homeowner. It includes the date and time that the house will go on the auction block and provides the homeowner with one last chance to bring the loan current.

Check the Newspaper for Listings

Lenders must publish the NOD in the local newspaper. Many investors use this method to locate distressed homeowners, so you’ll have more competition than you will if you research county records. Many larger cities have business journals, so check those as well.

Search Pre-Foreclosure Listings on the Internet

You’ll find many companies selling pre-foreclosure lists on the Web. If you’re looking for free, comprehensive information, RealEstate.com offers some of the best pre-foreclosure listings available. You can also search for foreclosures, short sales and traditional home listings. Just go to the Find Homes tab, enter the city where you want to search, and select the type of home you are looking for from the drop-down menu.

If you have your heart set on pre-foreclosure investing, set yourself up to succeed. The most important step in the process occurs before looking for pre-foreclosure listings: getting your financing in order. Not only does this allow you to shop only those listings that you can afford, it also gives you leverage with the seller.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Barb Locke December 13, 2014 at 3:30 pm

I am looking for pre foreclosure listings in Ontario Canada? Is there a Canadian site or service that provides this?

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Joel Lemieux October 4, 2014 at 8:13 am

I’m looking for pre-foreclosure listings in Haywood county, North Carolina

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trish September 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I see the trial offer for the downloads and addresses, but no where does it say how much it is after the 7 day trial? I don’t want to put my cc info in to something I don’t know how much it is a month… please advise.

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A Dawkins August 21, 2014 at 5:14 am

I am looking for Pre-foreclosures in Fairfield County CT.

Your assistance will be highly appreciated. Thanks

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Monda Phillips June 27, 2014 at 7:02 pm

I’m looking for pre-foreclosures in Davidson county.

Thanks

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Erika Revels April 29, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Where can I find pre-forclosures in Mississippi?

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mary April 28, 2014 at 10:30 am

looking how to get a price on preforeclose home in Camilla ga

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shawn kelly April 17, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Hello, thank you for this info.

These resources seem to be U.S. specific. I live in B.C. Canada and am having trouble finding pre-foreclosure lists here, any recommendations?

Thanks again!

Shawn

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sue bulla April 5, 2014 at 9:25 am

where do i find a list of pre-foreclosed homes in garland texas?

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van April 10, 2014 at 8:18 pm
Justin February 20, 2014 at 9:56 am

Have you heard of software that alledgedly ties into county records and provides such data? PropTrend and PropStream in particular? Most reviews I read is it costs $2000 and is a scam. I’ve been to a $2000 weekend real estate investing training seminar and they push PropTrend real hard but I can’t seem to find any good reviews.

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Debbie September 20, 2014 at 12:24 am

I have heard of PropStream. I, too, have been to a one-day free real estate seminar which was followed the next weekend by a $2,000 3-day weekend investment learning and training class. The $2,000 was for 2 people to attend. We were shown the PropStream software in action and how to use it. We saw all the various aspects of using it for different scenarios. We were quite impressed. It gave us all kinds of different information and lead us to sites to pick up additional information. You can do everything with the one piece of software. It also does math for you. You do not have to put it into a calculator yourself. You can even look for a persons last name or first name and the area they live and boom – - there it is!! It shows all types of listings, not just pre-foreclosures. At the classes we attended you had to commit and pay for the next set of classes which are in Las Vegas in October. That was an additional $20,000, but you get a lot of things for the money including your air fare and room, plus your own personal mentor. It is also a 3-day weekend, but more intense. The PropStream cost is included in the $20,000, so we have no specific price for the software. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

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Michael Mitchell February 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm

I am looking for pre forcloser properties in Hartford county

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Dena Payne October 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I am looking for pre-foreclosures in the Nashville area . . . to include specifically Davidson & Sumner Counties. Any help will be most appreciated !!

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Heather Campbell October 5, 2013 at 10:47 am

Looking for a list of foreclosure homes in Greene County, PA. Can someone point me in the right direction?

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Eve August 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Please someone help me??????I need a free foreclosure list for Brecksville, Ohio , Solon, Ohio, and all of Ohio. Please help am about to be put out door with my 4 small children and terminally ill dad.

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Laura July 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

The state of Virginia does not require a separate pre-foreclosure notice to be filed in order to start the foreclosure process, so there is no lis pendis or NOD filed with the county court. Does this mean that these sites with preforeclosure lists won’t be any use to me?

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Chase May 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Im looking for pre-forclosed homes in Charleston, more specifically Mt. Pleasant or Isle of Palms, SC. Can anyone assist or give any advice as where I can start searching?

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Denise April 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I’m looking for pre-foreclosure listing in Chicago can anyone help

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Dan M. February 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I am looking for pre-foreclosure listings in Fairfax County, VA. I’ve only been able to find foreclosures though. Can you help?

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The RealEstate.com Team February 22, 2013 at 11:40 am

Hi Dan,

If you go to Foreclosure.com and search for Fairfax, VA, then click on “Preforeclosures” (you’ll see the option on the left side of the page), you should find listings for that area.

Hope that helps!

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tasha cross February 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

i trying to find a foreclose listing,where do you go to get a listing ……….thanks

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William H Hunter February 12, 2013 at 10:23 am

I’m seeking listings of pre-foreclosures homes in Collin County, Texas

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NICK January 29, 2013 at 12:14 am

I’m seeking listings of pre-foreclosures in King County, WA in the north Seattle area.

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tina December 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I am looking for foreclosures listings in every city to help people get what money
that is owed to them by the government. people need help and Im going to help them one city at a time if you have any way to help me get a listing please let me know. thank you

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Tony Muriel October 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Robert,
Are still looking for pre-foreclosures in SoCal. If so please let me know.

Thanks,

Tony Muriel

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Nyesha Douglas November 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Tony,

I am looking for pre-foreclosure listings. Can you help?

Thank you,

Nyesha

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Robert Jankowski July 7, 2012 at 4:16 am

I’m seeking listings of pre-foreclosures in Southern California counties.

Reply

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