I live in Pinellas county FL and am new to the real estate arena. I need some guidance in finding great deals on REO and Foreclosure properties in Pinellas county. I also looked into county auctions and read a lot of threads on this site, but I am hesitant to jump in without much experience. My ideal property would a duplex or a single family home.
I would like to learn the process of finding foreclosure, REO and Short Sale properties. I would also like to learn more about the county auctions.
I would much appreciate any help and education you can provide.
All REOs and Short Sales end up on the MLS when they are ready for sale, so all you need in that regard is a solid local real estate agent. Different banks have different pricing formulas. Some are good deals, many are not.
You'll see a lot of chatter on here and in other places about "pre-forclosures". The Holy Grail of real estate investing is finding an owner/seller with a lot of equity who is facing foreclosure and is thus desperate to sell. The problem with the Holy Grail is it's really difficult to find, and everyone else is looking for it too. And if an owner/seller had a lot of equity, why on earth would they be in foreclosure? (They could just sell the house and pay off their mortgage). I'm not saying these opportunities don't exist, but they are increasingly hard to find.
All that being said, the foreclosure process starts with the filing of a document called a "Lis Pendens" (latin for "litigation pending"), usually after the property owner is 3+ months behind on their mortgage. You can search the public records for these in Pinellas County at https://ccmspa.pinellascounty.org/PublicAccess/def....
It can be months or years (or never) between the Lis Pendens and a foreclosure judgement.
The foreclosure judgement comes after a court hearing and an auction where the property is either sold at auction or retained by the bank as an REO (if nobody outbids the amount of the foreclosure judgement).
Pinellas County foreclosure auctions are 100% online. You can learn more about this process at https://pinellas.realforeclose.com/index.cfm?zacti...
It can several more months (depending on title work and the bank's workflow, backlog, etc) after the foreclosure judgement before the property is ready for sale as an REO. At this time it gets listed with a realtor and sold on the open market, as noted above.
The mid Florida regional MLS has a category under special sales provision called "Bank Owned/REO" - so it only takes a second for a realtor to pull these up. As of this morning, there are 60 active REO single family home listings in Pinellas County.
With regards for short sales (which are also on the MLS under special sales provision/Shore Sale)...check out this post.
Hope that helps! Good luck!
Thank you so much for the detailed reply, Jeff. It helped me get more educated on the process. I really appreciate it.
I looked at the first link to Pinellas County case search site but I am a bit confused because in order to search, it requires you to enter some basic information about a case (like a last name, case # or filing date) which I don't have. Is there a way to do a wide search without requiring to enter this information? Sorry if my question is very basic.