What is a Foreclosure Listing Service?

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands
Third-party companies provide listings of foreclosed homes that are being sold in a region.
Third-party companies provide listings of foreclosed homes that are being sold in a region.

A foreclosure listing service is a third-party company that publishes a list of bank seizures and property foreclosure sales within a particular region. In the United States, such properties are typically listed according to the county where each property is located. These listings are then made available to the public and are usually posted on the Internet, as well as offered through a recorded message that can be accessed by telephone. In some instances, properties are featured in a weekly newsletter and distributed to subscribers. Often, a foreclosure listing service will offer a list of foreclosed homes for sale in multiple counties within a single state and may even offer a list of foreclosed homes for sale in nearby states.

While information on most sales published by a foreclosure listing service are made available to the public, some require a subscription or website registration before people can view detailed information on homes for sale. In some cases, a foreclosure listing service is only accessible by paying a monthly or yearly fee. Some companies, however, may limit information given freely, while other information on the same website is only accessible with paid membership. A typical website featuring bank seizures usually focuses primarily on that specific market, but some may also feature additional information on investor seminars, preforeclosure home sales, probate sales and tax lien sales as a courtesy to premium members.

Real estate brokers, sales agents and real estate investors are among the groups most likely to utilize a foreclosure listing service to locate homes being sold under market value. When accessing information from one of these services, visitors are given the property’s address, a full profile description on the property and loan amounts owed on each property targeted for foreclosure sale. As most properties are being sold at an auction, visitors can also see opening bid amounts and other information pertinent to the sale of a property.

Sale information listed at a reputable foreclosure listing service is usually accurate. As information concerning a property may change without notice, however, some information may not be up to date. It is not unusual, therefore, for a foreclosure listing service to issue warnings to visitors showing an interest in a property to first verify all of the property’s sale information directly through a lender or through the lender’s designated trustee before attempting to bid on a sale published through a foreclosure listing service.

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    • Third-party companies provide listings of foreclosed homes that are being sold in a region.
      Third-party companies provide listings of foreclosed homes that are being sold in a region.