Founded in 1996, RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), is the leading online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 1.5 million default, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along with detailed property, loan and home sales data. The company’s mission is to make it easier for consumers, investors and real estate professionals to locate, evaluate, buy and sell properties. RealtyTrac is the only major real estate website to feature foreclosure, auction, bank-owned, for-sale-by-owner, and resale properties.
RealtyTrac collects and aggregates foreclosure data from more than 2,200 counties, covering more than 90 percent of U.S. households, appends the data with estimated property values, comparable sales, loan history, tax lien and bankruptcy records, trustee and lender information and property details and updates the entire database twice daily.
RealtyTrac has been chosen to supply foreclosure data and services to Trulia, Zip Realty, RE/MAX International, Prudential Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty, Long & Foster, Weichert Realtors, Realty Executives, Exit Realty, and many other specialized real estate and local news websites.
RealtyTrac publishes a monthly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which is the most widely quoted foreclosure trend report in the country, having been featured in stories on The CBS Evening News, ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, Money, Time, FOX News, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Denver Post and dozens of other national, regional and local broadcast, print and online news outlets. The company also publishes a quarterly and annual recap of foreclosures, and a quarterly report that ranks the top 100 metropolitan areas by their foreclosure rates.
Uncovering Hidden Information for the Mass Market
Historically, about 1 percent of all first and second mortgages have gone into foreclosure. This represents many thousands of properties and millions of dollars every year. Traditionally, information about foreclosure properties has been available only two ways:
• Expensive specialized data sources
• The time-consuming and hit-or-miss process of sifting through default filings in newspapers, legal books or at courthouse trustee sales
RealtyTrac has “democratized” this formerly hidden information that had once been available to only a select group of industry insiders. The company believes that by exposing more properties to more interested potential buyers, it can create win/win/win scenarios — homeowners in default can avoid a devastating foreclosure, home buyers and investors can acquire a property below market value, and the lender can avoid the expense and trouble of a foreclosure proceeding.
RealtyTrac provides resources that home seekers, investors and real estate professionals need to locate, evaluate, buy and sell properties, often below market value. The suite of data evaluation and productivity tools includes:
Property valuations — algorithms that provide estimated property values and value ranges
Foreclosure sales data — the company tracks sales of properties in all three stages of foreclosures and includes the sales date and sales price to give users valuable market information
Comparable property sales — up to 15 sales records of adjacent properties, along with a map of the property locations to help customers determine a fair market value for the property they’re interested in
Loan information — history of loans on properties to help users determine the financial encumbrance on a home
Interactive mapping — an integrated search tool that allows users to locate all types of properties within a dynamic mapping interface
MLS association — shows properties currently listed in the area surrounding a property of interest to give users a sense of the community, and an idea of current market pricing
Lien and bankruptcy data — allows potential buyers to find out if the purchase process could be complicated by hidden financial or legal issues
Photographs — over 10 percent of properties have photographs — and Microsoft’s Virtual Earth™ mapping technology provides aerial photos of many of the other properties (most foreclosure sites don’t provide any photos)
FREE daily e-mail notifications — notifies members the moment a property that fits their specifications enters the RealtyTrac database
Postcard service — allows members to send notifications of interest directly to the homeowners in default
Data download — allows members to quickly evaluate, sort and track properties en masse and to create mail merge lists for large-scale mailings.
To help users learn about the foreclosure market and successfully purchase properties, RealtyTrac also provides a number of industry-leading resources:
• A national network of over 8,000 real estate professionals to assist users
• A national network of mortgage providers
• Capsule reviews of foreclosure laws in all 50 states
• Educational materials from leading foreclosure investment authors
• A monthly newsletter with tips on using the site and industry news