There are actually a few ways to get free foreclosure listings. As you've probably noticed, there are many sites out there that will charge you an arm and a leg for the information. There is no need to pay! Many of the sites that claim to offer free foreclosure listings simply don't deliver; they make you pay for the information. Why go through this headache?

Checking for Houses Online

Since the online method seems to be easiest for free foreclosure listings and bank foreclosed homes for sale, there are some things you should do to limit the number of fee sites you find for property. First, if you insist on searching through large databases, you'll want to narrow your searches to a more local area. To start, type in free foreclosure listings followed the state or larger city near your location. This will keep the results local, but you'll need to keep your eyes open for hidden fees. There are some better methods out there.

Local Sheriff Office

Search your local Sheriff's Office website to find houses for sale in your area. The sheriff is actually in charge of selling these homes. They will often have a public auction for these homes, and sell them for pennies on the dollar in some cases. Some smaller counties may not have the information posted online. In this case, you may need to go to the Sheriff's Office in person. Ask the receptionist if there are some free foreclosure listings available that you can check out.  In some cases, the lists will be posted for all to see.  The Sheriff Office may also place an ad in a local paper announcing the sale of these houses.

Banks That Sell Foreclosed Houses

Call or stop by local banks to get free foreclosure listings. As you likely know, banks will foreclose on homes that are in default. While the Sheriff's Office is typically in charge of the sale, the bank has a vested interest in these properties. Many banks will be very quick to give you a copy of their properties because they stand to lose money when the home doesn't sell, or sells for a greatly reduced rate. For this reason, they want people at the auction, and will offer you free foreclosure listings on all sorts of property. You can find what banks are selling seized homes quickly.  You may even find some short sale opportunities that will serve the same purpose.

Government Sites

Visit other government websites to find a list of homes that have been foreclosed. The banks aren't the only ones that take homes for non payment; failure to pay property taxes will do the same thing. By visiting the local government sites, you can often find free foreclosure listings from failure to pay property taxes. This is a great method, and you can check the homes available in virtually any area.  You might also find HUD foreclosed homes for sale.

Talk to Realtors

It might be wise to ask a bank or realtor about short sale opportunities.  Since the discounts are nearly as large as you can find from free foreclosure listings for sale, it's a great way to save a lot of money on a home.  Realtors are also now tracking whether or not houses are short sale eligible.  This will give you a chance to save a lot of money.

No matter what method you use, there are plenty of ways to find great deals on these homes without spending a dime to find them. You can find HUD seized homes, too.