When I started Real Estate Investing in 2006, pre-foreclosures were taught as a source of potential leads. That was a couple of years before the financial and mortgage collapse that resulted in the record foreclosure numbers and has created more foreclosure related opportunities than we have ever seen.
Needless to say, my partner and I quickly saw value in marketing to homeowners facing foreclosure. The big question was how would we find them. Simple, we signed up for www.realtytrac.com. We were surprised to not find any pre-foreclosures listed for the Lowcountry, so we were back to square one - marketing material with no one to market to.
We decided to collect the information for ourselves, and our first step was to scour the newspapers for published Lis Pendens information. In South Carolina, the foreclosure process starts when a lender files a Lis Pendens and ends with the foreclosure auction. By law, the Notice of Sale to set the auction date must be published in a public place and the local newspaper. Our local newspapers were the first place we looked, and your local newspaper is a resource for free Lis Pendens leads.
My partner and I found a huge drawback to looking in the local paper for Lis Pendens filing information. The Notice of Sale occurs about a month before the auction date, which was not enough time for us to market to the homeowners and lost us several months of pre-foreclosure marketing time. We needed to look at the start of the foreclosure process, because the Lis Pendens is filed months earlier than the Notice of Sale.
Plus, do you know how many local papers are in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties? More than the Post and Courier, and we found Lis Pendens notices in multiple local newspapers. The same might hold true for your area.
Next, we decided to go to the source; we went to the courthouse to collect Lis Pendens records. We spent hours searching and copying paper court records at the County Clerk of Courts. That was tedious and took several hours each week, but we finally had a good number of fresh, valuable Lis Pendens leads. Your county courthouse is your next resource for free Lis Pendens leads.
Those are the two free options we used to get started when we marketed to homeowner's facing foreclosures: local newspaper notices and directly from courthouse records. Unfortunately, rarely is something free; although you can acquire Lis Pendens Filings for no money, how much is your time worth? Time versus money has been, and continues to be, a long time business debate topic, and each business owner has to answer it.
At the time, we did not have an alternative to the time consuming and labor intensive research, but today, you do! There are two paid options to acquire Lis Pendens Data Lists: them and us.
By them, I mean national data listing websites. The best national site we have found is www.realtytrac.com. Although RealtyTrac did not have much coverage in South Carolina in 2006, they now have Lis Pendens filings for every county, just like we do.
Our website, www.scdistressedhomes.com, is the only site we known of that is dedicated to South Carolina Lis Pendens. That is not the only characteristic that sets us apart from RealtyTrac.
We email your Lis Pendens leads in Excel files to your Inbox each week. RealtyTrac requires you to log into their website to receive your leads. Then, they make you copy the information for your lead from their website for each property. Our data delivery method gives you compiled data ready for a mail merge to customize your marketing material.
Our delivery method saves you time, and time is money.
RealtyTrac.com and SCDistressedHomes.com offer a 7 day free trail. Give both of us a try for free, and keep the subscription that benefits you the best.
The next article discusses he key to marketing to homeowners facing foreclosure is to educate and build rapport with the homeowner.
Interested in finding and marketing to your local Lis Pendens? Sign up at www.scdistressedhomes.com/pricing.html to receive a free trial of our Lis Pendens Data Lists and start providing your service to homeowners facing foreclosure.
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