Are you eager for the next auction now that you’ve found the perfect property to bid on? Don’t get too excited; the home you’re hoping to buy may not make it to auction, even if it’s already scheduled for sale.
After attending our first few auctions, we realized that many of the homes scheduled to sell (including several homes we were planning to buy) were never mentioned. We’d often show up on auction day with a small list of potential properties only to find we couldn’t bid on a single one!
Over time, we discovered that only 20 percent or so of properties set to sell at auction are actually auctioned off as scheduled. This is due to the fact that foreclosure sales can be (and often are) delayed or canceled for a variety of reasons, including:
○ The homeowner paid the outstanding amount
○ The bank decided to give the homeowner more time, either to pay up or to sell the home
○ The owner filed for bankruptcy
○ The owner filed a lawsuit to slow or cancel the foreclosure
○ The home sold before the auction
And that’s not the only challenge when it comes to buying property at auction. Of the homes that do sell as scheduled, less than 50 percent go for what we’d consider an acceptable price.
That’s why, these days, we never attend auction without a large list of potential properties. If you’re planning to buy property at auction, my advice is to build a large, well-researched list of foreclosures first
While it might seem like a lot of extra work, it often makes the difference between getting a great deal and walking away empty-handed. Besides, building an adequate list doesn’t take that much work.
Below, I cover how to build your first foreclosure list in five simple steps.
Step 1: Find Your County Clerk’s Website
Every home scheduled for foreclosure has a legal notice filed on it, and that notice is recorded with the county clerk. In your state, the title may be something slightly different, like county recorder or recorder of deeds.
Regardless of what the official is called, finding their website is the first step in building your list.
To find your county clerk’s website, simply search for your county in Google together with the word “recorder.” That’s usually all it takes, but you can also call your county government’s office for information if necessary.
○ Notice of sale
○ Notice of trustee sale
○ Notice of foreclosure
Keep in mind that each county is different and that these websites change regularly. Not all counties make things easy, but it’s always worth checking for foreclosure notices online first.
When you find a notice, you should be able to click on it to view the details of the foreclosure document.