A lot of good answers below. To answer the part about directing clients towards the distressed properties, a lot of buyers initially are interested in seeing the foreclosures and bank owned properties, but once they realize the "hidden defects" or neglected maintenance they opt to buy a non- distressed home. Unfortunately if someone can not afford their mortgage they also can not afford to fix things. The costs of repairs usually negates the lower sales price and many buyers look towards homes that are more "move-in" ready.
Although the short sale process has gotten better, a lot of buyers do not want to wait several weeks to see if they can get third party approval.You see more and more homes in the MLS saying "this home is NOT a short sale". If you are looking for government -owned homes, you may want to try the link below. Good luck to you and Lexi and the whole family.
Good question -- Multi faceted answer:
Good agents focus on their specialties and many are not short sale or foreclosure specialists, nor do they want to be.
Short sales and Foreclosures can be very time consuming and not yield a positive result for an agent. Since agents work on commission only, and short sales take more time generally, they have to assess each situation independently.
That said, agents who focus on short sales and Foreclosures do well if they do a lot of volume -- like any sale, it's a numbers game, and the more an agent is involved in short sales, the better their closing odds may be.
As others here have stated, some pre-Foreclosures can be turned around to the Seller's advantage if they can reach an agreement with their bank. Some agents may not want to provide foreclosure information because they risk not getting paid. As I mentioned in a previous note, there are excellent auction companies like Tranzon Auction Properties that encourage realtor participation and pay a commission.
Distressed sales - shorts and bank owned - will be among the listed inventory. And they are positioned to be shown and purchased.
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Pick a good Agent who know the town you want to live in and work with them. There is no majic in this process. Just old fashioned har work
I work in that area. Pre foreclosure is not always disclosed and many times the house does have a settlement or refi with the owners and mortgage company. Many times they do not go into foreclosure for many years. There is also the possibility of a short sale. I have learned that along the beach shore lines the short sales and pre foreclosures are not necessarily a "deal" and I will tell you why. Many times the owners have taken out mortgages at the top of the market so to settle with the bank the house is not worth the mortgage. The banks are not just letting go of these listings for a fire sale either. So many times it is not worth it and you can get a better deal with other houses on the market.
Foreclosures are either sold at auction or taken back into the bank's inventory in what is called an REO or Real Estate Owned. The banks hold on for processing which takes time. They might also hire a company or broker to fix up the house then list on the market. The house will come up as any other house on the market. It is not until you start making calls and inquiring you will find out that this is an REO. The banks do this because they don't want buyers to keep low bidding.
My suggestion is to look in the area you desire and try to find a property that is a good value. There are still good values on the market. You really need a good agent to help you find them
I think distressed properties in Beach towns of Monmouth and North Ocean are different from year round towns west of the shore where you can find really good bargains on distressed homes. Remember the beach homes do get rental income. The rental income from seasonal renters is still strong. This help when doing a refi on a mortgage thereby helping the owners to hold on to their homes.
I think if you go down near Atlantic city and some of Ocean county south that is a different story. There you can probably get good distressed properties along the water.
Overall I believe this is a chance in a lifetime to afford a beach homes. Once the economy gets a little momentum to the upside the home prices will rebound and the window of opportunity you missed will be conversations at a dinner table.
Homes in foreclosure are not listed for sale by Realtors. Since the bank is about to auction them off the sellers have given up and there is no use to try and sell and likely they are not worth enough to pay off the loan if they did sell. Some owners try to short sale a house before the bank can start the foreclosure procedure and we might know about these short sale homes - some call them pre-foreclosures but that is a poor term.