The first step is really to select a good buyers agent that is experienced in working with foreclosure sales.
Selling bank owned homes is very different than selling traditionally owned homes.
Different documents, different time lines, different language.
Also you will want to seek out a home inspector that understands the challenges that come with foreclosed properties.
Often times foreclosed homes won't qualify for traditional funding so you will want to speak to your lender if you are purchasing with a mortgage about different programs you would qualify for.
If you need some suggestions on qualified local buyers agents in your area I can provide you with some ideas.
Best of luck.
The short answer is - very carefully! The long answer is more complicated. As mentioned below, your first step would be to work with an experienced buyer agent who will work with you through the process. Should you decide to go forward with a purchase, you would also want an experienced attorney to represent you.
If there is a particular home you are interested in, provide the address to your buyer agent. He or she will be able to tell you if it is in fact on the market for sale and provide you with the listing information. If it is not on the market yet, your agent or your attorney could probably do some quick research to find out the status of it. If it is on the market, your agent can arrange a showing for you & take it from there. You want to make sure you have a contingency for a home inspection to give you a chance to have a professional inspect the property for you.
One other caveat are homes that are going to be auctioned (as opposed to where the foreclosure has already taken place). This can be a fast-moving situation and one where prior viewing of the home may not even be possible. Auctions are really not set up for first time buyers or real estate novices.
Buying a foreclosure can be a good way to get a good deal as long as you have experienced professionals at your side guiding you through the process.
A basic rundown on how purchasing a bank owned typically works..
You find one you like, and place an offer. Chances are, there will be multiple offers. So, the bank comes back and asks for your "highest and best." This means they want you to offer the highest $ you are willing to pay. Then the bank reviews all the offers. What they look at is: dollar amount, how it will be financed (cash, mortgage, etc), and other items (such as addendums and contingencies). Once all offers are reviewed they decide who "wins" the bid.
The answers will vary....Have you actually identified a home you'd like to pursue or are you looking to obtain a list of foreclosed properties? It would be my pleasure to provide advice from there!
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