Buying a Foreclosure
Question: The house next door to me has a notice of trustee sale on the door. Can I go to the auction and buy it?
Answer: That depends. If the owners of the house pay off what they owe before the trustee sale or if they declare bankruptcy there will not be a sale. However if they do not do anything then the home will go to public auction. In order to purchase at auction you would have to pay all cash, you do not get contingencies, and the title is not insured.Â The first loan has to be paid off and if the house is worth less than the loan balance you would have to pay more for the home than it is worth.Â If the home is being foreclosed by someone who has a junior lien, that is a second loan, or a lien against the home then the first lien holder needs to be paid off before any of the junior lien holders can have the property.Â Â
It is generally a very risky proposition to purchase a home at public auction since there is no way to guarantee that you will have clear title. Even if you pay off the first lien holder there may be other liens against the property that you would become responsible for. The best thing to do is to wait until the bank repossesses a home, and then lists it with a realtor or sells it an auction with an auction company that allows a buyer to use a lender. There are not many auctions like this inÂ Santa Clara County, but they do happen occasionally. It is more common for a foreclosed home to be listed on the MLS after the bank takes it back.
Keller Williams Realty
Marcy Moyer Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto, Ca. Specialist in Trust and Probate Sales