Create Free Account
Your first step – even before you start looking for properties – should be to create a free account. After you do so, you’ll have a dashboard where all of your saved properties, searches and messages will reside. Your account also enables you to review important due diligence documents, sign up for custom alerts and receive notifications when a property is cleared for auction.
Now, the fun begins! Your free Auction.com account gives you access to thousands of foreclosure properties across the country. There are three basic ways to find foreclosure properties.
Regardless of the path you choose, you’ll arrive on the Search Results Page (SRP), which will display the properties within your search criteria. From there, just click on the properties that appeal to you.
Start on the homepage, and either use the:
Go to the Search window on the homepage and type in the location where you are interested in buying a property. This takes you to a page with all of the properties in your area. Next, click on “All Asset Types” and select “Foreclosure Sale.” Now, you’ll see the foreclosures in your area.
Go to the “Buy” tab in the navigation bar on the homepage and click “Foreclosure Sale.” You can then narrow your search of foreclosure sale properties by typing in the state, county, city or zip code.
Click on the “Calendar” tab in the top navigation bar and type in the date when you would like to attend an auction. Then click “Select State” to choose your state. Next, click “Asset Type” and select Foreclosure Sale.” Now, you’ll see a list of foreclosure sales during the timeframe you chose and in your state.
Find Property / Create an Alert
When you find a property that you like, save it either by clicking on the star in the photo on the Search Results Page or the blue “Save Asset” button on the property details page (PDP). We recommend visiting the PDP page, where you can write down the date and time of the auction, get the monetary details and review important property documents. When you save a property, you can receive real-time email alerts if there is a postponement, cancellation or if the property is cleared for auction.*
* Real time alerts are available in states where Auction.com conducts the foreclosure sale.
Conduct Your Due Diligence
Before you attend the auction, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and do some homework. After all, you’ll want to know as much as you can about the property so you can make an informed decision. Here’s what we recommend:
Carefully review the Property Details Page
- Write down the time and place of the live auction
- Review the photos and property details (i.e. the number of beds, baths and square footage)
- Carefully consider the financial information such as the Estimated Value, Estimated Debt, and Opening Bid.
- Review important documents, such as the Title Information, Trustee Sale Terms and Conditions, Certificate of Sale/Receipt and any IRS forms. Pay particular attention to the Title Information, which typically includes sales prices, liens against the property, comparable sales and the amount of taxes due.
Want to share your favorite property with family or friends? Click on the email icon on the top right of the page and an automatic message will pop up on your email.
Estimate the property’s value and renovation costs
- Do online research of current listings and recent sales of similar homes in the same neighborhood.
- Calculate what you believe are the estimated renovation costs. Even if you believe the home is vacant, treat it as occupied. These homes have not transferred ownership yet and walking on or entering the property is trespassing. Your estimation of renovation costs need to be calculated from a distance.
- Plan on interior upgrades like new carpet/floors, paint and appliances. You may want to contact a contractor to get a ballpark figure on the renovation costs using similar homes as comparables.
- If you plan to keep the property as a rental, you’ll need to know the market rents and vacancy rates. You can get this information by doing online research, visiting other rentals or by asking an agent.
Order a preliminary title report
- It will show you the condition of the title and indicate if there are any second mortgages or liens. You can order a preliminary title report by contacting a title company or real estate agent.
Seek legal advice
- A real estate attorney can answer questions about the title, bidder’s rights and eviction proceedings, if applicable.
Investigate the property and surrounding area
- Drive by and take photos of the exterior and neighborhood. Regardless of whether the property is occupied or vacant, you cannot access it because the ownership hasn’t transferred yet. Please do not trespass or disturb the occupants. It’s also wise to investigate the local schools, any planned developments and the crime rate.
Prepare Your Funds
If you are satisfied with your due diligence and want to proceed, make sure you have enough funds to buy the property. If you plan to buy the property under a separate entity, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you’ll have to provide additional documentation following the auction. Here is a list of requirements that explains what you will need.
Most foreclosures need to be paid in full. We recommend bringing a cashier’s check instead of cash. When you’re preparing your funds, you should allocate 5% or 10% more than your budget. You don’t want to lose a great property over a small amount of money. Check the property details page to confirm who to make the check payable to. If you have questions, please call our Foreclosure Customer Support line at (800) 793-6107.