Foreclosure Tours, Big Discounts Sell Homes in the Midwest

Real estate agents holding foreclosure tours for prospective home buyers
Real estate agents holding foreclosure tours for prospective home buyers

In vacation home meccas such as California, Florida and Las Vegas -- where foreclosure numbers soared during the housing meltdown -- real estate agents have been employing a new sales tactic: foreclosure bus tours.

Next stop? Cincinnati.

According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, the trend -- in which Realtors organize groups of prospective buyers to view short sales and foreclosures -- also is catching fire in more traditionally stable markets in the Midwest.

And for one local agency in Cincinnati, the tours actually are helping to sell homes.

At Exit Realty West, foreclosure outings are an integral part of their sales efforts, and foreclosures and short sales generate about half of the company's business. In the county, foreclosure sales make up about 32 percent of all home sales in 2010.

Is it just that the sales technique is working or are the home buyers really getting a bargain?