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Pre-Foreclosures: A Guide To Contacting The Owner To Purchase Before Auction

Jan 9, 2008
Contacting the homeowner in most cases is a challenge. They likely are bring been bombarded with calls and a full mailbox from lenders, attorneys, bill collectors and creditors showing up at the front door.

Contacting the homeowner by phone, mail or in person may prove to be very difficult to do; mailing them is the best way to start contacting them. If the homeowner is contacting you, from a mailing, the initial communication is a bit easier and the homeowner is not likely to have their defenses up.

Make sure that you let them know in the letter that you are a private investor and in the market for properties in that area. Also, make sure that you relay to them that you are interested in helping them, not saving them. People do not like the sound of having someone to save them, but a bit of help is often a welcome offering.

Signifying an understanding of the homeowners situation in you letter will assist you in your efforts. Let them know in your letter that you are trying to help them stop the foreclosure of their home. You can also let them know that your help may save their credit rating and provide cash that they can use to pay bill or pay for the relocation expense.

By being professional and gracious in your communications with the homeowner, you will get a response eventually. Do not make the homeowner feel as though they "have too" contact you. If you do not hear from them within a reasonable amount of time, three to four weeks, send a follow up letter. Use this letter to signify a bit more urgency to contact you. As the auction date quickly approach's, you may need to send several letters a month in order to get them to contact you.

Using the phone to follow up is defiantly worth the effort as well. Make sure to be professional and courteous, but never be pushy and demanding, people do not respond well to this. Do not use the phone to interview the homeowner, simply tell them that in order to make a determination if you can help them or not you must meet them at the property. Meeting at the property is much more productive, and professional. The owner will also have the documentation that you need to review there as well. The loan, insurance documents and foreclosure notices should be there; you will need them, if you intend on making an offer on the pre-foreclosure. Therefore, meeting at the property is the best way to interview the homeowner and evaluate the property.

Assess the condition of the property and the owner, this information combined with the default amount and the market value will allow you to formulate your offer on the property.

If you feel uncomfortable with visiting the property in person, you can ask the owner to fax you the documents or even email pictures of the property to you. If asked to leave the property do so right away, be polite and courteous. You may run into some people that are not very friendly, remember they are in a financial position that no one likes to be in. Under any circumstance, inspecting, snooping around, or unlawfully trespassing on someone's property will get you into legal trouble.
About the Author
Thomas Bladecki is the author and can provide additional information about foreclosure listings and the current real estate markets visit Home Foreclosure Help. You should also see his Foreclosure Blog for all the latest information about the real estate foreclosure market.
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