Foreclosure in Boston>Question Details

Daisy, Home Buyer in Boston, MA

Signed an offer on a foreclosed property over a week ago – no answer

Asked by Daisy, Boston, MA Wed Nov 19, 2008

This bank owned property was listed on the market for 3 days when I signed the offer. The offer was for the asking price. I am a first time buyer with 20% down payment and good credit history. I am working with an experienced realtor that passed this info to the property management agency that listed the property. My agent had called them numerous times and was told that the decision has not been made.
A week after I signed the offer they called my agent and asked if I am willing to raise my offer, sighting that there are other offers on the table, so added 2k to my offer.
They also said to my agent that the decision will be made within couple of days. That was 2 days ago.
Is there a way to find out which bank owns the property? I already know that the property was transferred from the original owner and it states that the Mortgage Electronic Registrations System Inc. is the current mortgage owner. Can my agent work with the Bank attorney directly?

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There is absolutely a way to find out. If you post the property address we might be able to help you.

Is your broker experienced with foreclosures? I ask because these transactions are vastly different than, say, a traditional RE transaction process. Generally speaking the banks don't care about the physical property, they only care about $$. They are already in a capital loss position because clearly the previous owner was unable to pay off their mortgage. This is why the banks sell the properties in "As is" condition because they don't care if the property sits there, get vandalized or termites, or if the pipes freeze. They won't discount based on these issues or give you a buck to pay for or fix any problems, or hold any warranties on the property. So, that is big warning #1. Warning #2 is the time it takes to get an answer on or fully purchase a foreclosed property. Referencing warning #1 that banks only care about the $ so they will let the property sit there for months with a low "listed" price of which they may not have any real intention of accepting ... Their hope is an informal auction that will keep increasing the price until they finally take the highest, like what happened in your case. If the bank sees a quick response to a listing price they will let the "auction" go on for weeks if they want trying to get the highest number. Unlike negotiating directly with a person (homeowner) who carries emotion and a strict time line, banks are big corporations with lots of layers. Unfortunately the banks will usually only respond to the the agency they have hired to market/sell the property because of the stacks and stacks of papers already on their desks - most have an automated system in place. Response time weighs heavily on organization of the bank and listing agent. That said, it is certainly worth your agent trying to contact the bank directly. Can't hurt. Warning #3 is usually banks require a specific lender pre-approval. Your agent should make sure that the bank who owns the property isn't requiring a specific pre-approval letter or proof of funds. If they are and you didn't provide it they may not respond to your offer. Warning # 4 is before you work hard to buy this foreclosure make sure the town you are buying in isn't flooded with foreclosures because those towns will take years to revitalize and stabilize property values. http://www.territoryre.com/blog/?p=597

Just remember when it comes to foreclosures $ talks.

I hope some of this was helpful and good luck!!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 19, 2008
GREAT QUESTIONs. however no the agent can't work direct with bank or their attorney. There are standard procedures must be followed. With any foreclosure/short sale/ preforeclosure always drama bank may never responded to your offer if there is a bidding war on the property you are not the top bid. If you dont hear back keep looking at times your have to submit multi offers on numerous properties to secure winning bid. Sorry to hear all has nothing to do with the agents, it is the bank, your are treated no differently than any other contract submit for a purchase.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 19, 2008
I am all set, I was able to buy the townhouse and later found out that there was a large number of other offers on the same property. I ended up raising the offer 3 times. I submitted the offer on November 11, got a response on December 1st and finally buy it at the end of January 2009, due to a wait on the land court documents. I paid over the asking price and it was all worth it, it is still 80K cheaper than the townhouse next door, which was bought 8 months prior.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 30, 2009
Daisy,

Unfortunately, if you're working with buying the property directly from the bank, the process can take months and in the end, you may not even end up with the property.

MERS handles a huge number of loans in MA and facilitates the easy resale of loans between banks. For more info and stats on MERS, see the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 30, 2009
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