Today, everyone wants a foreclosure. “Where can I get a list of foreclosures? ” , ” How do I go about buying a foreclosure?”, “Will I get a STEAL on a foreclosure?”
These are some of the most asked questions in today’s economy and real estate market.
There are a ton of websites that advertise lists of foreclosed homes. Most of them require a fee to view the details of the properties. Most of these sites have outdated information, bad information and are usually a rip off. All the same information is available through your local real estate agent….FOR FREE!
I have seen several sites that claim they have properties before they hit the market. Wow, sounds great to someone looking to get a good deal on a property. The truth of the matter is what they have is a list of properties that MAY go into foreclosure or may not. If they do go into foreclosure they will eventually end up on the market, listed with a local Real Estate Agent. DO NOT PAY for lists of these properties. Find yourself a good agent that has his/her finger on the pulse of the market, knows the area and is searching the market daily for new listings. Make friends with this agent. There is no need to throw your money away when every property that goes into foreclosure ends up listed, which your agent will know about immediately and get you in to see it and make an offer, if so desired.
The process of buying one of these foreclosed properties is another blog in itself. Needless to say you need a good Realtor® AND a good real estate attorney on your team. Your Realtor® will know how to get all your paperwork prepared and then an attorney usually helps the Realtor® negotiate with whatever bank owns the foreclosure. Usually the bank has taken over the property and does not want to own property. A good Realtor and attorney can help the bank understand this and at least get the offer considered.
Whether or not you get a great deal is another matter. Despite what most people think, just because it’s a foreclosed property that does not mean it’s a steal, or that its being sold below market value. There are several reasons properties go to foreclosure. The most common one being the owners cannot keep up with the mortgage payments and the banks exercise their right to take back the property through a foreclosure action. It depends on the current market conditions, along with several other factors, whether or not you get a “steal”. A majority of the time the property will be sold for the market value. The banks are not giving properties away, but they can be shown what the market value is. Thats where your Realtor® comes in. He/She can prove to the banks what similar properties are selling for, thus making it more likely that your offer will be accepted.
Do not expect to low ball an offer, with no supporting documentation to the bank and get properties for less than market value just because they are ‘foreclosed’. If you are serious about buying property, foreclosed or not, go about it the proper way. Thats not to say you cannot get a great deal. You can. But it’s not easy, and it’s not the norm. There are many good deal out there that are not foreclosures. You just have to find them.
In order to cut through all the bull, get straight, honest answers, anyone interested in foreclosed properties needs to consult a Realtor® or real estate professional. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for an investment property or a primary residence, consult a Realtor®. It’s the smart thing to do.
Straub and Associates Real Estate
Camp Hill, PA