Lots of buyers want to look at FORECLOSURES, and there are a lot of them! You can certainly get a great deal on foreclosed properties, and these days many Banks are even cleaning them up, painting them, putting in new carpeting – in other words, they aren’t all in “terrible” shape.
Here’s how most foreclosures work these days (it’s changed a LOT since 2008). Lenders give notice of foreclosure to the homeowner – and often wait months and months to foreclose, even though legally they can foreclose sooner (in Georgia, they just have to give four weeks notice, published in the legal newspaper for the appropriate county). Banks have so many foreclosures on their books they often just do not WANT anymore, and once they foreclose then the Lender, as owner, is responsible for any code violations (such as grass growing too high, etc.). In other words, once they foreclose it’s not only a liability on their books, they have potential further liability due to the condition of the property.
When they DO decide to foreclose, it’s “sold” on the courthouse steps for the county the property is in, on the first Tuesday of the month. Used to be you could GO to the courthouse steps on the first Tuesday of any month and buy property. They still offer properties for sale then, but it’s much less common for anyone to purchase there. For several reasons: (1) the reason that has always existed – you must have CASH or a CASHIERS CHECK (same as cash) to purchase on the courthouse steps, no exceptions; (2) it’s so much easier, and you can actually get it for LESS, by waiting for the foreclosure LISTING to come up. Because at the courthouse steps you must pay AT LEAST what is owed on the property. Almost by definition, the property can’t be worth what is owed on it, or it wouldn’t have ended up there to begin with.
Banks then list the property with foreclosure agents – like Rick Hale of Keller Williams, the Peargin Team at Remax, etc. etc. YOU CANNOT CALL THE BANKS – THEY WILL NOT TALK WITH YOU. If you DO pull off a miracle and someone will actually talk to you, they will tell you that they do not sell properties; they hand them over to the assigned agent. Most of the time they can’t even tell you who that agent is because they use so many. Believe me, take from someone who has had plenty of clients try despite this explanation. The Banks know that the best way to get the best buck for the property is to PUT IT ON THE OPEN MARKET. They do not WANT to sell to you before then. Because foreclosures often end up in BIDDING WARS and the Bank gets much more than they thought that they would.