Once you have an purchase agreement with the bank, then they will send you an addendum. I cannot stress enough to READ THE ADDENDUM CAREFULLY!!!! These banks are good at twisting the wording any way they can to benefit them. The addendums will say something to the effect that the addendum controls over the purchase agreement. So if you have something written in the purchase agreement like seller to pay 3% of closing costs, they might actually sign the purchase agreement, but the addendum (keep in mind that controls) might say that they will not pay "reoccuring costs". That would be for example pre-paids on taxes etc. Therefore, they won't necessarily give you all 3% back that you need.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you are purchasing this "AS IS". Many banks will not consider doing repairs of any kind for you, nor will they let you do them prior to close. (For example if you were getting an FHA loan and the FHA appraiser called for the house to be scraped and painted because of chipping and peeling paint, the bank would not do this repair, nor would they let you as the buyer handle the repair, therefore you are at a dead head killing the deal. You would also loose your appraisal money and inspection money. However, you still should get your earnest money deposit back if your offer is written to be contingent on financing and this would allow you to get your deposit back. Of course if the bank addendum allows it.)
Just make sure you are very familiar with the type of financing you are getting and make your agent very aware of it so they know what to look for in helping you find the right foreclosure that meets your needs and your financing needs.
I hope this information helps! Best Wishes!
I strongly agree with Melinda's first answer. Take some time to research foreclosures. If you have the required skills this may be an option. Another choice might be "short sale" properties. Most will have less damage. Expect months of negotiating and waiting for either.
If you are looking for foreclosures in Southeastern Michigan (Metro Detroit) you should visit http://www.MIforeclosureDeals.com The free report available on this site will give you valuable information on what to look for when purchasing a foreclosure. You can also obtain a list of foreclosures in the city or zip code you are most interested in. Most importantly, you will want to work with a buyers agent that has experience with foreclosures. There are many items that can go wrong and working with an agent that is not experienced ith foreclosures can cost you dearly.