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Unfortunately most foreclosure properties never make it into the multiple listing services. During the bank review period, most listing realtors line up their prospective buyers and offer them a private showing of the property with the hope that the agent will be able to sell the listing to one of their exclusive buyers. If your intention is to purchase a distressed home, then you need to have a realtor that is experienced in doing just that.
In Hunterdon County, many distressed homes that are scheduled for sheriff's sale are settled prior to the sale and it never takes place. However, there also homes that do sell for a fraction of what anyone thought they would. To find one in relatively decent condition and in a good location is what all investors are looking for. So needless to say, competition is fierce.
Using some of the systems that many see on television, are costly and the same thing may be accomplished without a cost to you when you use a skilled realtor. Whether you choose to call me or any of my colleagues, using the opportunity to have someone else to scout out "bargains" will ultimately save you time and money.