Every situation is different. Your Realtor may have an opinion also.
the buyers, except their 100 % commitment and loyalty to One Realtor, their buyers agent.
As far as a pre-foreclosure is concerned, it really is not yet a foreclosure, you are still negotiating with the
current homeowners, but you may want to have a Realtor on your side checking the mortgage situation
, any liens on the property etc. etc. of the current homeowners before making an offer....
Nobody really cheated you at this time, you just did not double check the owners situation, and you Good Luck to you
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really should be represented by your own Realtor.....
I would ask your agent to check the mortgage history of the property, determine how much the seller owes on the property, and also if there are multiple liens outstanding. Next, take a look at what you are paying relative to that amount. As mentioned below - is the property a short sale, or a pre-foreclosure where the owner has stopped making the payments?
In any event - the bottom line here is - How much equity does the seller have in the home, and is the purchase price going to satisfy the amount outstanding that the seller owes?
If what you are paying is going to realistically come no where close to satisfying what is owed on the property - then you could have some issues. If there are multiple liens, that could complicate matters even further - as the 1st lienholder will take the lion's share of the proceeds, and may leave the next in line with next to nothing. If this is the case, as stated below, the second lienholder may put a nix on the sale.
If the property is being sold short - then there may be a "pre-approved" price that you can reference to determine if your offer is going to fall within the threshold of what the bank will accept.
Regardless of what the owner will accept - the only thing that matter is what the bank will accept the satisfy the outstanding debt or debts.
I would highly suggest getting your agent, and an attorney involved, if you haven't already. They are the only ones who have direct line of sight to the details - and can offer concrete advice.
Hope that helps!
Make sure you have a great home inspection to make sure the house is in good condition because many times when a seller is in this position they don't have money to maintain the property.
Have your attorney check to make sure there aren't going to be any financial downfalls that delay closing or make it impossible for you to finish the purchase.
If you love the house, consider yourself very fortunate that you found it now because if it had gotten to the point where the bank took over it would sit empty for a very long time and the condition would deteriorate (in most cases). If you were happy with the sales price and payment level, enjoy your home.