If there is a foreclosed home that matches what you have in mind, your West Palm Beach realtor will be happy to show it to you. But you should be aware that most foreclosed homes (also known as REOs) end up being purchased for cash for investors.
If you are planning to use a mortgage to fund your purchase, your chances of being able to purchase a foreclosed property are relatively slim.
Unless you ask your real estate agent to search for FannieMae homesteps properties. Those homes ask for bids from purchasers who are not investors to be delivered within the first 15 days that they are on the market.
That means the bank will consider bids that are backed by a mortgage. However, your offer will be one bid out of many and you will not know what the other bids are.
So look at the home carefully, decide what kind of work it may need, what it's worth to you, and then make the highest bid you can, based on market value. Because if you're purchasing with a mortgage, there will be an appraisal involved.
As for how long the process may take, that is a guess. It could take 30 days, it could take 60 days, or it could take longer.
If you're in a hurry and you have a deadline by which you must move, foreclosures are not for you. Also, be prepared to be disappointed most of the time.
Consider looking for a home still controlled by an owner. You'll have a response to your bid in 48 hours and you can typically close within 45-60 days.
Marc Jablon, The Jablon Team
RE/MAX Complete Solutions
Talk to an agent in your area about setting up an auto search on the local MLS which will send you an email when the property is listed as 'for sale' on MLS.