I see this is your first post on Trulia; welcome to the Community!
Our latest "foreclosure market" has been with us since late 2007. Just about any full-time RealtorÂ® working since 2008 today has the required "scar tissue" associated with Foreclosure property transactions. While there are still cases when transactions go a little sideways, for the most part these transactions follow well-known set of steps.
Basically, there are four types of "foreclosure" property.
Here's a quick relative risk/difficulty scale for distressed property (1 being the most risky):
1) Trustee Sale-
You personally go to the County court house and bid on a home you probably have never seen the inside of, nor will have the opportunity to fully investigate. Seasoned investors need only apply. Cash/Cashiers check only, no financing.
2) Auction Company Sale-
A little better, at least you have a seat in a packed room where the auctioneerâ€™s primary job is to get the highest offer from a much larger group than #1 above has. You are buying â€œAS-ISâ€. Do you have the ability to gauge cost of repairs you might see? This option is best for those who can walk a home and calculate refurbishment costs on the fly IF an investigative period has been allowed. Perhaps, you might even attend one to see â€œhow the sausage is madeâ€ and how comfortable you would be if you went this route.
When a property does not sell via #1 or #2 above you eventually see it come on market via a RealtorÂ® MLS. You will still needs the skills to evaluate property condition and the good news is your RealtorÂ® will be helping you to do so along with professional property inspectors you hire. The downside of an REO is the Bank typically only sells "AS IS" (meaning, the Bank will not typically make repairs even if you identify an issue) and the Seller's property disclosures are limited to what is statutorily required by law.
4) Short Sale-
While there is nothing chronologically short about this option (plan on 60-90+ days before a Lender approval) it nonetheless is the closest relative to the non-distressed sale. The only real risk with these transactions is the underwhelming boredom and the overwhelming mystery of why it takes so long to obtain an Approval(s).
Many Buyers make the mistake of only focusing on distressed property due to a belief they are cheaper and less difficult to buy than non-distressed property - this simply is not the case.
Got RealtyTrac? I hope notâ€¦.
Yes, they have foreclosure listings; however, there is a process of getting to the status of an actual foreclosure for sale. See:
RealtyTrac looks to charge you a fee to obtain foreclosure information - this same property status information can be provided to you for FREE by most any RealtorÂ®.
Also, as evidenced by RealtyTrac, be aware there are different levels of property information accuracy on the web. See:
â€œMLS Data Accuracy â€“ Where to search if youâ€™re â€œwithout RealtorÂ®â€
if you only want accurate information. http://tinyurl.com/ctr4d44
If you are serious about buying a property find a RealtorÂ® and ask that a custom automated MLS search agent be set-up to make sure you are seeing property actually for sale.
Be sure to also obtain a "True Pre-Approval"?
I am a Pleasanton resident and I would be happy to help you with your home purchase. I have sold many foreclosure properties to very satisfied buyers and it would be a pleasure to help you too.
Many buyers seek REO or short sale homes because they think the will get a great deal on the purchase. Wrong! The current inventory in the Bay Area is severely constrained. Low supply (inventory) coupled with high demand (lots of interested buyers) has driven prices up. REO houses that sell for less than other houses in the neighborhood do so because they need work not because they are REOs. Think about it! If two houses are identical with the exception that one is an REO and the other is not should they not both have the same market value? REO sellers are motivated but they do not give the houses away nor do they accept low ball offers.
Short sales are a little different because of the time lag needed to get a sale approved but buyers have shown that they are willing to wait for the house that they want.
There are always exceptions but buying an REO or short sale is not necessarily a deal. You will need to pay market price in most cases.
When you do a home search on a site like Trulia, the search results include ALLOT of Foreclosure/Pre-Foreclosure listings. However, the vast majority of those listings are simply 'link-bait' to get you to sign-up for a paid subscription to RealtyTrac.
As your question indicates, it's a great idea to work with a local agent that specializes in those types of properties. This type of agent will be able to search for legitimate foreclosure-type property listings that are actually available.
There are some great local agents who can help you (depending on where you're actively looking)...and guess what, I happen to be one of those agents! ;)
To get started, check-out this concise list of all active Foreclosure Listings (also known as REO) here: http://www.CalPacREO.com
When you're ready to look and buy, just message me:
Please feel free to you the below website to search Pleasanton Foreclosure listings that are truly for sale. None of the "possible" listings.
The Kruschke Team