Being able to quickly find foreclosures and short sales are a great way to build your portfolio, while generating wealth and positive cash flow.
Here are 7 Tips that will assist you in finding profitable foreclosures and short sales in NYC.
1.) Search Online Real Estate Marketplaces
The quickest and easiest way to find distressed properties is by searching the various online real estate marketplaces. Websites such as Zillow, Foreclosure.com and RealtyTrac and offer real-time access to many of the foreclosures and short sale properties in the city for a minimal monthly cost. You can generally access these sites in order to find the name, address and the outstanding mortgage amount of the distressed properties in the city and contact them via phone or direct mail in order to prospect for new deals.
Although these sites make it incredibly easy to locate distressed properties, the problem with this tactic is that too many investors are clamoring for the same distressed properties, which ultimately results in increased competition and higher acquisition costs. Investors in every market are using similar services because it is so much quicker to find distressed properties through these online marketplaces, rather than going to the City Clerk’s office and searching through the public records.
2.) Bank Foreclosure Lists
You can also contact banks directly in order to gain access to their internal lists of foreclosures and short sale approved properties. Many of the larger banks list their distressed properties online and you may be able to find a profitable deal before it is available on the open market. You can do an Internet search for “foreclosure lists” + “the name of a major bank” in order to locate these lists or you can simply contact the bank’s REO department. I have included the links to a few banks foreclosure lists below.
3.) Government Agencies
Finding distressed properties by searching the inventories of government agencies that have foreclosed on properties is also a great way to find deals. Below is a list of various agencies that advertise their list of foreclosed and distressed properties.
4.) Specialized Real Estate Agents
You can also utilize the services of a local real estate agent in order to find foreclosures and short sales throughout the city. Make sure that you work with an agent that is knowledgeable about your investment area. It would also be a good idea to only deal with agents who specialize in foreclosures, short sales and distressed properties in general. The process of purchasing a distressed property can be tedious, so it is always beneficial to have a knowledgeable expert on your team that can help you to navigate the waters.
Real estate agents who specialize in short sales and foreclosures will often have a certification by the National Association of Realtors. This certification is the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) certification and Realtors who have this designation will often use the “SFR” acronym to label their expertise.
You can also search for SFR certified Realtors in your area by going to: http://www.realtor.org/rofindrealtor.nsf/pages/fs_sfrspec?OpenDocument
5.) Driving for Dollars
Driving through your target market looking for abandon properties is also a great way to locate foreclosures and short sales. Many times you will find properties that have not been listed yet and you may have an opportunity to acquire the property before your competition realizes the property is available. You can also search for properties that have real estate signs in the yard labeled as “Foreclosure”, “Bank Owned” or “REO” as these are obvious signs that the property is distressed and may be available for pennies on the dollar.
Once you come across a property that looks vacant and abandoned, if it is not already listed with a real estate agent, you will need to take note of the address of the property and search for the owner’s details via public records. After finding the owner’s contact info, you will need to contact them via phone or direct mail in order to begin the conversation of purchasing their property. If the seller is motivated and behind on their mortgage payments, it may be a great opportunity to acquire a profitable deal.
6.) Search Public Records
As a property goes through the various stages of the foreclosure process, various notices must be filed with the City Clerk. You can search the public records for these notices and attempt to make contact directly with the seller before the foreclosure websites such as RealtyTrac and Foreclosure.com make the information available to the investor community at large. While this strategy is free to implement, it does take a bit of research and can be tedious at times. The benefit of doing this ground work upfront is that it will allow you to find profitable deals before the masses and it will help you in learning your investment marketplace, which will serve as the foundation for your success as an investor.
7.) Mailing Lists
If scouring the public records for profitable real estate investments doesn’t seem like fun to you, you can always purchase a list of pre-foreclosure properties from a list broker. List brokers such as Melissa Data provide lists of properties that are 30, 60 and 90 days late on their mortgage. After purchasing one of these lists, you can simply conduct a direct mail campaign in order to generate new leads and potentially secure a deal.
As you can see, there are many ways to quickly and efficiently locate foreclosures and short sale properties throughout New York City. By implementing just a few of these tactics, you will consistently have a steady flow of distressed properties to analyze that have the potential to blossom into profitable deals in the weeks and months ahead.