There are tons of foreclosure websites out there. If you have been searching for a deal or a steal you have probably come across most of them. As a matter of fact, a foreclosure search is so popular that Google even announced they added them to their real estate search too. One of the main websites though is RealtyTrac, who tracks foreclosures, bank-owned, pre-foreclosures, auctions and more.
But, pardon my Southern, it just ain’t right.
Let’s take a look at the map below of 29401 (Charleston’s Downtown zipcode). The blue Ps are pre-foreclosures, the maroon Bs are bank-owned – and most of them are incorrect. (Sorry, but for an interactive map you’ll have search directly on the site). If you know the market as well as I do, you can tell that it is wrong the minute you see the address. Let’s look at a few Bs and Ps for an example.
72 Murray Blvd – NOT bank-owned, it was purchased at the courthouse auction in July for $1,680,100 and is now back on the market for $2,395,000. (Back in February 2010 I predicted it would come back on the market for $2,250,000 – perhaps it should have been since it’s been sitting at that price for more than 6 months now) 1019127 – Details: 72 MURRAY BLVD, CHARLESTON, SC – $2,395,000
49 Laurens St – NOT in pre-foreclosure. It was on the market and sold at the end of November for $1,210,000. 1004176 – Details: 49 LAURENS ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $1,210,000
16 Harleston Place – this WAS bank-owned but it sold on 1/7/2011 for $469,000. 1017403 – Details: 16 HARLESTON PL, CHARLESTON, SC – $469,900
5 Bull St – this WAS bank-owned but it sold on 12/10/2010 for $357,000. 1016657 – Details: 5 BULL ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $357,000
105 Smith St – this WAS bank-owned but it sold on 12/17/2010 for $272,000 1027452 – Details: 105 SMITH ST, CHARLESTON, SC – $272,000
55-A Hasell St – may have been in pre-foreclosure but it’s under contract now (Yay for them!)
So the point is – please don’t rely on the public websites for accurate information because you might end up being disappointed. In Charleston, your best resources include:
- The county website for pretty good up-to-the-minute public information.
- Your real estate agent. If it’s not me, find someone who knows the areas you are targeting like the back of their hand AND knows the foreclosure/auction process. If they don’t know what MIE or a docket is or how to find the bid price – move on. 🙂 In addition, our Realtor MLS updates the status of homes within one second so you can be on top of it when the bank-owned house you’ve been watching comes on the market.