Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Technology brings more competition to foreclosures

Part 1: Managing for a real estate downturn

Warren Adams, a Realtor at Security Pacific Real Estate in Fair Oaks, Calif., said the "technology" he once used to track pending foreclosures consisted of a pile of newspapers and a pair of scissors. The Internet has changed that.

"When I started doing this I was cutting out notices of trustee sales and putting them on my desk. It was a real time-consuming process," said Adams, who specializes in buying foreclosed properties at trustee sales and marketing the properties for banks. "The days of walking down to the county recorder's office and (then) going to the trustee sale are kind of a thing of the past," said Adams.

Now, Adams subscribes to an Internet-based service to learn about pending foreclosures. "Being current is everything. I can see what sales are coming up today. Within a matter of minutes I can do most of my homework online to determine if it's even worth looking at a property," Adams said, and sometimes an in-person visit is the last thing on his list when considering a property.

Though technology has placed foreclosure information at the fingertips of more agents and consumers, foreclosure can still be a time-consuming and costly process, and foreclosure specialists warn that not all foreclosed properties are a great deal, and not all foreclosure information that you find online is timely and accurate.

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