Buyer's Agents - If an offer is made on a property listed by a Realtor the agent will normally be paid by the commission offered by the seller. Everything is negotiable though so it has happened that the buyer agreed to pay some or all of the buyer's agent commission. If the property is not listed (FSBO) the buyer's agent will normally build into the offer that the seller will agree to pay the agent's commission. The Buyer's Agency agreement states, though, that the agent will be entitled to a commission so it is possible that the buyer will be responsible. Talk through this with any agent you consider before signing a buyer's agency agreement.
Foreclosure vs. non-foreclosure properties... I think the most important issue for you to know is that mortgage guidelines require that the appraisal on the property show that the home is in average to good condition. Many foreclosures will require repairs and normally (not always) the Bank will NOT be willing to make repairs prior to closing. If you are willing to purchase a property in its existing condition when it will not meet appraisal requirements your financing options change. You always can pay cash but if you need financing you will want to consider a "re-hab" or "construction" loan which will be obtained through a local bank or, if it is for your primary residence, you could consider an FHA 203 K type of loan which is also referred to as a rehab loan. Hope this helps you in your decision making.... more