Roberta's Las Vegas Real Estate Blog: Free Las Vegas Foreclosure Lists - Secret Homes Sold by the Banks?

Free Las Vegas Foreclosure Lists - Secret Homes Sold by the Banks?


Since I did my post on Free Las Vegas Foreclosure List - You don't need to pay for Foreclosed Home Listings, I've had some interesting feedback. Many were surprised to find out that yes, your local Real Estate Agent has these listings. There aren't any foreclosed 'Secret Properties' to be bought directly from the banks. Once homes have been foreclosed, they all go through real estate brokers and appear on the local MLS.

Las Vegas Valley Home - Whitney Ranch Henderson, NV

With so many sites offering paid foreclosure listings or 'paid systems', a number of people have assumed that there is some 'secret' that isn't available to the general public, and that these sites or companies can provide them this information, for a fee, of course. Well, some times you don't always get what you pay for. It comes down to this...banks can own real estate, and through foreclosure own REO's or Real Estate Owned, but they can't sell it themselves.

Why? Arguments there range from a conflict of interest to monopolies. In 2001 the lenders began lobbying Congress to allow them to sell real estate, and a long battle began. They were challenging the Bank Holding Act of 1956 prohibiting financial institutions' holding companies from participating in most non-banking activities. The act was very broad and had been amended over the years to allow some flexibility, and the lenders were pushing to include real estate sales.

A bill was introduced in 2008 and re-introduced in 2009 as the Community Choice in Real Estate Act, that proposed to clarify and specifically prohibit financial institutions from participating in real estate brokerage or management. This bill actually became unnecessary, as that provision was included in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, signed into law on March 11, 2009. A brief summary of the provision to permanently prohibit banks from real estate activities is found on page 3 of this legislative notice on the funding bill.

So no, the banks don't sell direct, or are their any secret sources on foreclosed homes, they all go through brokers. They are listed with your local agents anywhere in the country, and included on any agent's site that has a multilist home search, like my own linked to the graphics at the bottom of this post, or my zip code based search
hosted at the Greater Las Vegas Assn. of REALTORS®. Below is a map of the Las Vegas MLS Area Codes to help with your searches, particularly if you use my other sites.

Las Vegas Multilist Map - Area Codes for Las Vegas MLS
Click for Larger Image

I offer 3 websites to make it more convenient and compatable with different computers, browsers, and connection speeds. You can use whichever of my search sites you find is the easiest for you to use, see all available properties in your price range and other needs, and best of all it's free and no registration required. I don't 'harvest emails' from anyone that just wants to browse to see what's out there. Of course you should get in touch if you need more details or would prefer a more specific search, as I can set that up to be delivered straight to your email. When you're ready to shop, I'll be happy to show you your selections and help to guide you through the purchase.

While paid sites may imply there are secret foreclosure listings, or some say they have a 'system' with secrets for sale, there really isn't anything hidden. Even pre-foreclosures are a matter of public record and available from the Recorder's Office here in Clark County. The only 'secrets' are they require a lot of knowledge and research, knowing comparable values and all the risks and limitations involved. Even agents or real estate attorneys attempting short-sales for homeowners facing foreclosure are not always successful negotiating with banks or defaulted property owners.

While there are incredible bargains in today's Las Vegas home market, finding a property sold at a Trustee Sale that has potential equity can be very difficult. With declining home values leaving so many owing more than the properties is valued in most cases. Are they impossible to find? No, but very limited and you may just discover the competition stiff on those very few properties, just as you do in exceptional values for listed bank owned homes.

I hope that clears up some of the misconceptions about foreclosures. Not only here in Las Vegas, as the listings of homes that have been foreclosed are found on any MLS across the country and they offer the most up-to-date information available. Don't get caught up in the hype often seen out there on the web or TV infomercials. Find a knowledgeable REALTOR® that can explain all the realities of buying your next home or investment.


If you are interested in relocating to Las Vegas or would like more information on Las Vegas real estate, please email me, Roberta LaRocca, at, or call 702-354-8988. I look forward to hearing from you!


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Comment balloon 4 commentsRoberta LaRocca • April 15 2009 03:07AM


Great blog to pull back the curtain on the 'secrets'. :)  Anyone watching how banks are handing the REO's in their inventory would know why they should not be in the business of selling property.  Excellent work!

Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) over 11 years ago

Jesse, Thanks! There's so much confusion out there with the foreclosure sites listing properties that aren't for sale, are contingent or have been sold, or not listed anywhere near the right price. Then there's all the late night TV 'systems' for sale with their too good to believe examples. When buyers actually experience the pleasure of trying to get a response from some of the banks, they're often in for a shock. It proves there's a good reason why they haven't been allowed in real estate.

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, NV. Lic BS.507 (Simply Vegas Real Estate) over 11 years ago

What??? You mean you have to read the fine print on those real estate sytems? The ones that usually say that the exaples aren't typical results? Homes that don't exisit or at the price on foreclosure sites but they still charge fees? LOL There's so many rip-offs out there feeding off these foreclosures. Good thing the banks are officially shut out of real estate. They're the leading cause of this mess!

Posted by Bob over 11 years ago

Bob, yes there's all kinds out there ready to lighten your wallet. Also right about the banks, they surly don't need to be controlling the whole game...they have screwed up royally with these exotic loans, and they haven't done much better with handling their own properties.

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, NV. Lic BS.507 (Simply Vegas Real Estate) over 11 years ago