Before we look at how to find home auctions, it's worth recapping what it means to attempt to sell a property by auction.

Almost any type of property (residential or commercial or hospitality or land) or asset can be sold at home auctions. However, most home auctions are arranged when the seller wishes to sell the property reasonably quickly and in a fixed time frame.

Foreclosed properties are the most common types of properties which go to auction. This is where the lender has repossessed the property as the person responsible for repaying the mortgage has failed to keep up his mortgage repayments.

Types of Real Estate Home Auctions

There are two types of real estate auctions. The live (in-person) and online, with the latter becoming more prevalent as people grow more comfortable making significant purchases online.

Some companies are helping to make the online purchase process more efficient and transparent. However, it is still necessary to carefully review contracts, escrow issues and disclosure documents, and other paperwork.

So, How to Find Details About Home Auctions?

There are various ways to find details about home auctions, with online searches probably the most popular.

Some of the most popular websites include the following:

  • government-related websites: you can find upcoming auctions by visiting the websites of several the US government agencies, such as:

o the US Treasury will foreclose on real estate when the owners don't pay their taxes; such auctions are advertised on the website for such government auctions;

o Fannie Mae, the mortgage lender, also forecloses on properties. If they can't quickly sell a foreclosed home, they will put it up for auction. A third-party auction company with then be contracted to handle such disposals for them;

o other US agencies which hold auctions include the US Department of Agriculture and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC").

In addition, there are specialized home auction sites that advertise forthcoming auctions, and more generic sites such as Zillow or Xhome, or Hubzu. The last two mentioned sites may charge a buyer's premium as their commission, as well as charge excise tax;

Most websites allow you to search for auctions by state, county, city, and even postcode. Searches can also be refined by specifying the price range, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the property's current status to be auctioned.

Other Ways to Find Details About Home Auctions

  • Contact local real estate agents who should be aware of upcoming auctions. The agent may well be appointed as their representative by one of the governments or other entities who have foreclosed on properties. Some real estate agencies specialize in such type of sales work;
  • Another alternative is to look at classified ads in local newspapers or magazines of real estate or related associations. Often the entity foreclosing is required by law to publish a series of public notices with basic details of the property and the time of the planned auction;
  • Direct approaches to those companies hosting the auction will reveal information about the following planned and forthcoming auctions. There may be brochures or catalogs about the auction available. It should also be possible to go online to the site of the auctioneer;
  • Contacting business associates in related businesses such as legal or accounting may be involved with such auctions. Or maybe contractors or suppliers who keep a look out for such auctions so they can pitch for any property renovation work which may be required.