Profile picture for zuser20140529101735058

do you need an agent to buy a foreclosure? and is realtytrac a legit website?

I found some specific foreclosures, (not investment properties, but ones i would live in) in a specific apartment/condo complex... there are a few... on trulia the only way to get more information is to get 'realtytrac'.. which i did... and then in the realtytrac listing i clicked on the 'get more info from local agent' button, and then they are supposed to contact you. I did this yesterday, but haven't received any contact yet. is realtytrac a legit website? I today just now found the same properties on zillow, and there is an agent listed, for the property as opposed to just realtytrac, they are one of the same few agents who sell (apparently) non-forclosed condos in the same complex (just looking on zillow/trulia, you see patterns)... anyway since I have already signed up for realtytrac, does anybody know if it is a legit website, and then how long does it take for the agent to contact you after you press the button saying please contact me about this property?
Thank you.
Oh, and my other question, do you need to get a buying agent, in order to buy a foreclosed condo, if you already have it picked out? Do you need somebody to represent you? 
Thank you.
My other question is if you contact a listing agent directly, to get information... can you then get a buying agent after that and have the buying agent help you, or is this unprofessional, to get a buying agent after you have already contacted the listing agent?
  • May 29 2014 - League City
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Answers (3)

Get a buyer's agent....they will walk you through the process step by step.
You don't need to pay for a list.
Probably what you want to buy is an REO....we call it foreclosure, but really it has already gone through the foreclosure process.
Your buyer's agent will have access to all of these.

Don't waste your time with lists.....what's on the list may never foreclosure, may foreclose in a month, may not foreclose for years.   I've seen it take 4-5 years sometimes once the first notice get sent.   Then even after foreclosure it may be months or years before it comes on the market.

Potentially you could buy one yourself directly from a bank.  Chances of that happening are pretty small.  Maybe you find a small local bank where you can walk in and find the loan officer or president who would handle the sale.   More likely it is in some black hole somewhere with some huge lender and if you could find the right person who is handling the sale, they would not take your call.   You'll leave 100 voicemails and if you ever got a call back, they would tell you to get a realtor and make an offer when it comes on the market.
  • May 29 2014
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Depends on what you mean by foreclosures ...

Talking Tax sales/County Sales?
These are often different State to State..County to County ect. so you need to check how it's done in each Market/Local to be sure/informed..State/Counties often provide information/Property lists on their web sites so checking is important
More accurate and updated than RealtyTrac plus it's Free

All the info/Links are to State/County web Sites which provide info to the public
Click on your state of interest then find your county of interest
Nationally...Foreclosures and Tax Lien Sales

Bank/Gov. Sales/Foreclosures/REO's

REO-Bank Owned Properties
Many Banks have created Sites for the Public to use (For Free) to view and find Information about the Properties they have Listed for Sale & Loan programs, the process ect....
Sites Like..Bank of America...Wells Fargo

The Fed Gov has Sites for its Properties for sale
HUD Homes...Fannie Mae
You can find the links to all the Gov sites here...Link

Other types of Auctions/Sales
Check out the Sites for info but know it's Big Time Buyer Beware..use due diligence
I'm not recommending these outfits or this road but if interested in their description of the process ect..
Just examples of some...
Bid4Assets

Auction.com

Williams & Williams

Know your options when hiring Services
Dept of Justice Web Site....Competing models of real estate brokerage

Best of Luck with your research and search
  • May 29 2014
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Profile picture for craigfial
You can't purchase a house through Realty-Trac.  They are just a listing service that collects data from public records.  99% of the homes listed in Realty-Trac are NOT for sale or available.  These properties are generally going through the foreclosure process.  There is NO guarantee they will ever come to open market.
The agents that are listed on Realty-Trac and paying to be there for leads.  Once they realize the home is not actually listed in the MLS, they will steer you to something else.

ZILLOW and TRULIA are also sites that collect listing data from multiple sources, some of which is inaccurate.

I highly recommend you align yourself with an agent you trust to help you.  Also consider executing a buyers agency agreement.  My clients have no problem signing an agreement since it ensures that my loyalty is to them and will help them with any property available including FSBO, Auction and Unlisted properties.

Good luck!
  • May 29 2014
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