Your best bet would be to speak with a Realtor. There are various places to find foreclosures, not just the MLS. Most of these outlets will pay for your Realtor, and often encourage the use of one! The terms of buying a foreclosure are different for each property, and once you find a Realtor they can help you with these.
I do agree with the previous posters. STAY AWAY FROM SHORT SALES if at all possible.
Stirling Sotheby's International Realty
Many people believe that buying a 'short sale' or 'foreclosed' property is a great way to save some money when purchasing a home. Be very cautious here! At least I'm glad to see you are asking for a foreclosure rather than a 'short sale'. In this case the bank has probably already set the price and you can be certain it wil take less time than a short sale. Keep in mind, however, that the property may have already been through that process. Many of the homes I see in this situation have been left in poor condition. Some appliances removed, damage to walls and plumbing but mostly, be cautious of the major problem - mold. Many times the A/C has been turned off for long periods of time and moisture is allowed to penetrate the house. Be sure to get a good home inspector and tell them you want a mold test done.
In many cases you can find non-distressed homes for sale that offer similar or better savings without all the hastle. Don't overlook these.
Good Luck in your search for a home here in Florida!
Ken Mundorf, Realtor
Congratulations on deciding to purchase Florida property!
All you need to do is contact some area agents by telephone and interview them relative to purchasing foreclosed property. During your conversation about this specific process, they do not mention the importance of follwo-up with the bank representative, documentation and follow uo on all aspects of this transaction, and developing a one-to--one relationship with the banking representive handling your offer.......move on to the next person.
Also don't "put all of your eggs in one basket." There are other real savings opportunities with regular transactions of homes that were purchased by the owner pre-2003 when prices sky rocketed. Often these deals are better than the "foreclosures."
Avoid "short Sales" since there is too much risk involved, prolonged waiting, and often disappointment because of someone else getting the home.
Hope this is helpful.
The "Eckler Team"
Michael Saunders & Company