New Foreclosure Investor Learns the Ropes

Kumpol Manasvigangkul never considered purchasing a foreclosure property until an acquaintance told him to try out RealtyTrac. Four months later he was poised to pocket more than $100,000 in profit from a home he purchased during pre-foreclosure.

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“I wouldn’t have thought of doing it without RealtyTrac. The website really helped me out,” said the first-time investor from Niceville, Fla. “I have a guy fixing up the property right now, and I’m going to try to sell it.”

Manasvigangkul planned to ask $225,000 for the Fort Walton Beach property, which he purchased from the owner in foreclosure for $75,000. He had sunk about $25,000 into repairs.

“It wasn’t like devastated or anything. We’re putting in new flooring, new countertops, painting and stuff like that,” he said.

With the real estate market booming in many areas, it can be hard for buyers and investors to find good deals on property. But RealtyTrac has made it easier with an online database – updated daily – of more than 550,000 bargain properties nationwide, including pre-foreclosures, auctions and bank-owned properties.

In the past, prospective investors had to sift through foreclosure documents recorded each day at the local courthouse or purchase expensive foreclosure lists for each county that interested them. These printed lists were often delivered to investors several days after the foreclosure notices were recorded. But thanks to RealtyTrac, now even first-time investors like Manasvigangkul have convenient online access to an updated and accurate database of foreclosure properties across the country.

“It turned out great. I just wanted to give this one shot. I’m not a professional real estate investor or anything,” he said. “RealtyTrac helped me out a lot; it taught me a lot that I didn’t know. And the information you guys provide, 98 percent of it is accurate and up-to-date.”

Although he had never purchased an investment property before, Manasvigangkul didn’t use a real estate agent to help him with the transaction. His fiancé works for a title company and helped him research the property’s title. That research helped him uncover a small mechanical lien on the property, which he agreed to pay off for the owner.

“(Checking the title) was important because I didn’t know how much else they owed and I wanted to make sure I got a clear title,” he said.

Soon after Manasvigangkul purchased his property, RealtyTrac began checking public records for outstanding liens and loans for every foreclosure property in its database. Subscribers have unlimited access to view Lien & Loan History reports for hundreds of thousands of properties posted on RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac subscribers also have access to an assortment of other resources to help them through the process of purchasing a foreclosure property.

  • Suite of coaching and learning services that teach how to buy foreclosures.
  • A network of pre-screened lenders to help with financing.
  • A network of pre-screened real estate agents to help with researching a property and making an offer.
  • Free comparable reports to research the market value of a property.
  • Preformatted postcards that can be sent to the owner in foreclosure directly from the property details screen.

Manasvigangkul contacted several owners in foreclosure with RealtyTrac postcards. One of those owners had already accepted another offer, but referred him to someone else they knew also going through pre-foreclosure. He contacted those owners and was able to negotiate a purchase agreement with them within a day.

I just made them an offer and they couldn’t turn it down. It was pretty easy,” he said, adding he was able to close the deal within two weeks because he paid cash and didn’t need to secure financing.

Manasvigangkul encouraged other buyers and investors interested in properties they find on RealtyTrac to pursue those properties and not let them get away. He said he plans to use RealtyTrac to look for more properties after the property is sold.

“I’m going to see how this one sells and what kind of profit I make … I’ll definitely subscribe again,” he said. “You guys have a website that explains all this. It tells me who to call and pretty much taught me how to do all this, which I never had done before.”

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