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The Best 8 sources for finding real estate auction listings in Canada

Author: Robin Liu , founder and CEO of downsizesale.com

As a real estate agent, you probably know lots of sources for finding real estate listings, but very few real estate agents know the sources to find real estate auction listings, which make this business less competitive, and thus an excellent business opportunity. Knowing how to find and where to find properties that are suitable to be sold at auction is the key to making money as a real estate auctioneer, and also crucial to the success of a real estate auction business.

There are lots of sources available for finding real estate auction listings, but the 7 sources that I will EXPOSE below are absolutely the best and can produce enough auction listing to keep you busy for the lifetime of your career as a real estate auctioneer.

Source No.1: Kijiji

Kijiji is the equivalent website as Craigslist in the US. With Kijiji. The nice thing is, while you are viewing the ads, you can click reply and send an email message regarding your auction services directly to the email inbox of the person who posted the ad.

Before searching Kijiji, you should create several different email replies in Word format, so that, when replying to the ads, you can simply copy and paste the appropriate message into the body of the email depending on the type of ad that you are responding to.

For example, you should create several separate customized message for :
replying to For Sale By Owners
replying to real estate agents
replying to landlords

Source No. 2 : Newspapers

The real estate section of local newspaper is often loaded with potential auction listings, and all you need to do is to prospect for them.

As part of your weekly prospecting routine, you should search the real estate classified ADs on a daily basis. You may also find auction listings in other headings of newspaper, such as “Commercial Property” or “Investment Properties”.

You need to keep it a daily, at least a weekly habit to search for auction listings in your local newspaper, so that you are able to track ads that have been posted for several weeks, which would be a good indication that the property owner is a motivated seller and may be interested in an auction – an accelerated selling option.

When scan an ad with your eyes, look for signs and keywords that identify potential auction listings. The following signs and keywords should never be missed:
Motivated Seller,
Must Sell, Most Go,
Below market,
Transferred,
Estate Sale,
Pre-foreclosure, Foreclosure,
Sale due to illness, Sale due to Health,
Death Notice, Estate Sale
Owner financing, 100 percent Financing,
Lease Option,
No Money Down,
Unemployed, Lost Job
Divorce,
Price Reduced.

Source No. 3: Real Estate Agents and Brokers

For some properties on MLS, the traditional sale method will fail, but auction method will succeed. How every, being a real estate agents, but not a real estate auctioneers, they do need cooperation of real estate auctioneer to make a sale.
Most property information packet include special fields or remarks that indicate whether the property is listed as a short sale or a foreclosure.

To prospect for MLS listings that are suitable for auction, simply scan property listings and look for keywords such as “bank owned”, “corporate owned”, or REO, which indicate that the listing is a foreclosure. If you see “third party approval required”, that means the property is possibly a short sale listing.

Once you find the potential auction listings, the next step is to contact the listing agent and offer to work with him or her as a broker’s agent.

Some real estate agents may wrongly assume that working with a real estate auctioneer as a broker’s agent will grab their commission. The fact is that the listing agent keep the listing commission less the co-broke fee, which they would typically pay to a selling broker anyway.

Source No. 4: Banks and Lenders

Bank REOs and Foreclosures are excellent source of properties to auction, simply because the bank’s goal is to get rid of the property as soon as possible.

Most banks and lenders list their REO properties with local real estate agents. Auctioneers can solicit the real estate agents that handle the sale. but they can also call the banks or lenders directly for available foreclosures on hand.

Auctioneer should deal with the individual person who oversees the REO department of bank or lender. This is the person who has the power to approve any offers you make to list the property for sale by auction.

Source No. 5: Lawyers and Accountants

We all know that foreclosed properties are excellent source of properties for auction listings, but you may not know that most of foreclosures are due to bankruptcy, divorce, and death. Those property owners inevitably seek advice pertaining to these matters, thus often seek the advice of their lawyers.

Tax issues regarding a foreclosure, bankruptcy or other financial calamity can be very complex, and most property owners must turn to their accountants with expertise in tax for guidance.

Connection and networking with local lawyers and accountants who specialize in bankruptcy, divorce, or estate matters can bring you a constant flow of quality referrals of those potential motivated sellers.

To get to know lawyers and accountants with these specialties, just look in the yellow pages of your local telephone book, or do a Google search and you will find lots of lawyers and accountants that you can contact. Just mail or email them letters that introduces you and your auction services along with your business card.

Source No. 6: Properties In Pre-foreclosure

Ever wondering where can real estate auctioneers find free information about properties in pre-foreclosure? The answer is city hall office or RM office.

Although foreclosure laws very from province to province, properties that are headed for foreclosure will have notices of default or lis pendens recorded with the city hall’s office where the property is located. Searching through these public records is completely free.

The foreclosure law requires banks to publish a notice of all pending foreclosures. You can easily find these notices listed in the local news paper.

You should also look for public notices of obituaries and tax lien. Estate sales often include real estate that must be liquidated. Tax lien notices are given to properties that are delinquent on property taxes and are scheduled to be sold through a tax auction. You have every right to contact the owners and offer to auction their property before the property is foreclosure on.

Direct mail, email, phone calls, and personal visits are all proper ways to reach these property owners.

Source No. 7: Foreclosure information Websites

There are a couple of dominant foreclosure information websites that specialize in collecting and listing pre-foreclosure information. On these website, there is only executive summary of property information. To get contact information on these properties in pre-foreclosure, you have to be a register member and pay for it.

This is a paid service. Personally I have never tried their services, and you need to do your own due diligence to find out if their information is valuable to your auction business.

Source No. 8: Partner with Estate Sale companies like DownsizeSale.com

Estate sale companies actively looking for clients who do estate settlement for family members. Estate sale companies can refer real estate auctioneers good clients who are looking to sell real estate by auction too. DownsizeSale Auctions does auction sales, but they sell everything except the house.

Robin Liu is the founder and CEO of downsizesale.com, an estate sales and downsizing sales service provider in Canada. 

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