Foreclosure in Atlanta>Question Details

Joshua Finley, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

Once I find a foreclosure, what's the actual process to buy?

Asked by Joshua Finley, Atlanta, GA Sun Mar 29, 2009

Do I have to have financing in place prior to offer or can I secure financing after I make the offer?

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Work with a good buyers agent when shopping foreclosures.

1. Once "you" find a foreclosure it may already be gone! Many banks won't allow an agent to list a home under contract until it's closed just in case the deal falls through. So many of the homes people find are actually already taken.

2. Get your financing in order now!

3. Not all foreclosures are great deals! An agent will check comps. and find you the best deal in the area.

4. The best foreclosure deals always go fast! 1-5 days tops! Working with a well connected agent will get you in one of these properties.

I can assist you in all these areas! Give me a call when you are ready!

James Dudley
ERA Sunrise Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 30, 2009
Get your approval lined up - make certain you set a price that you're comfortable with, not what you can afford. There's no reason to stretch, you better build in reserves because you will have unexpected expenses.

While you don't necessisarily need an agent to find a home, you do to go through the process. Interview and be very thorough researching agents - you rely on performance levels and credentials - NOT BS nonsense.

Expect the process to be difficult, miserable and possibly fruitless as deals often fall apart. Expect to find problems AFTER you get in there, I see many homes that have been brutalized by owners as they leave. I appraise and sell this things and have been doing so for about 20 years - it's not all beer and skittles! I posted a blog on this very thing -…

Good hunting - keep your eyes wide open

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 30, 2009
Our recommendation is to find an agent that will support your specific needs. Many foreclosure buyers elect not to work with the listing agent because of a variety of concerns. You should be the best judge if dual agency will work for you.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009
The process to buy a foreclosure if it has been listed is very much the same as buying any other house. There is additional paperwork that basically says the bank has "no knowledge" of anything to do with the house-which is true because they have never seen the house. There will be no disclosure statement because again the bank has never seen the house and knows nothing about the condition of the house. And the house is sold "as is" meaning you take what you get but you still have a due diligence period with time to inspect and you can terminate the contract if you feel there are too many things wrong to move forward.
Another difference in buying a foreclosure is that the bank usually takes much longer to get anything back in writing but their verbal acceptance is usually a guarantee that you will get confirmed within a few days..of course depending on which bank and how backed up they are with foreclusres and all the paperwork. Also, you can run into some title issues towards the end if the bank has not done their homework with clearing up title before the property gets listed.
As far as "not having an agent because your offer will be better to the bank" is not anything i have ever dealt with. I have sold countless foreclosures and every foreclosure listing agent I deal with is too busy with all of their foreclosure listings to work the other side with a buyer. The ones I have worked with encourage unrepresented buyers to get a buyers agent.
And yes you need to have financing in place because most banks that I have dealt with give you a very short due diligence period to secure financing and if you go past this time period then you lose your earnest money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009
You must get a liability acknowledgement from the Realtor for Good Faith where a professional may be dupped by the lender. We are involved in countless complaints and litigation where the lender was never intent on delivering due to counter party issues. The time and effort caused countless hours of heart ache and pain a realtor could have circumvented.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009
Josh, five on five from Realtors to let you know-- work with an agent. Then, get your financing in line before even considering an offer. Also, I want to add: have an inspection even when the property is listed "as is". Get a professional opinion on what that property is going to need to make it right. Rain and bugs will be pests for years to come so you need to identify early whether that is an issue with the foreclosure you are interested in. An inspection looks at bugs and water as well as equipment and how soon you will need to replace hot water heaters, furnaces, roofs, etc. It will be a part of your budget to prepare for those replacements in a few months or years. Most foreclosures will allow an inspection period but it will have to be quick (3 to 10 days). Make sure you have talked with an inspector before you even write an offer; then you are ready to do the inspection as soon as your offer is accepted and you do not have to wait to find an inspector. I have included a link for Pillar to Post, a national franchise that has a great inspector for the Atlanta area. I have used John in Cherokee, Douglas, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett-- he goes just about anywhere in the Atlanta metro area. I have used him for a foreclosure at $17,500 up to new home construction in the 400s. Yes, I made my buyer do a home inspection on a $17,500 townhome- he was a first time homebuyer and needs to know where to turn the water on and off, how to light a pilot light-- all of that and homebuyer training as part of the inspection. Many foreclosure companies will allow repairs but keep in mind that the asset managers are looking at "net to company" so high costs for repairs, closing, etc will send you below a "cash offer" even if your true net is a little higher. The asset manager has one interest--get the property off the books. Make sure you are informed about the FHA 203K loan or other rehab loan products because the very best deals are on the properties that need updating and repairs-- these are perfect for the 203k loan. I had one foreclsure purchase price at $60,000 and an FHA 203K loan amount at $90,000 to take care of new HVAC, new kitchen, and add a 3rd bath; it closed 21 days after acceptance because we went into offer prepared with loan approval, a contractor who viewed property while contract was submitted and was able to give loan officer a rehab proposal as soon as we had contract acceptance and inspection completed. Good FHA loan officers can get you closed in15 to 25 days after contract acceptance (especially if they are a direct FHA lender and not a broker) they already have your paystubs, w 2 paperwork, bank statements and verifications of employement and rental. If the loan officer does not get that material from you within a day or 2 of "PreQualifying", ask your agent and the loan officer why the loan officer is delaying your closing. Make sure you know the difference between direct lenders and brokers and that you are comfortable with the agent and loan officer that you choose to work with. Both brokers and direct lenders can do a great job but make sure your Realtor is in touch with the loan officer. When you have chosen your Realtor, talk about what happens if the property you choose requires prequalification with a particular lender. What happens to the loan officer you have already given all your stuff to. A lot of asset managers will allow any loan officers; some restrict to only 1. A good Realtor will negotiate on your behalf and guide you through this process. I'll be glad to assist you, Lisa is a great one --I say this because I had recent experience with her and she is professional. I am sure Ed and David, as well as Dunes, are also professional. Good luck on your search, now is a great time to be in the market with lots of inventory, fantastic prices, and 30 year low rates.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009
Good Afternoon Joshua,

The home buying process for purchasing a foreclosure is very much the same as buying any property. The particular bank involved with the forclosure might request some additional forms and information. Your priority right now would be to find a realtor that you feel comfortable with and start the process. As a buyers agent my commission is totally paid by the seller. To lear more about me go to my website Especially, review " About Me" and the other information on my website. This will give you a better understanding about me and my background , skill level and passion for the real estate business. I'm confident that I am the agent to find you that perfect home.

My contact information is 678-427-5512 (cell) and (email).

I look forward to hear from you in the very near future.

Best Regards,

Rick Payne
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009
Hi Joshua,

I am a Realtor who specializes in Foreclosures for Buyer's. I can work with you on contract negotiations and financing. You can read my prior posts to get more information. You definitely have to have an agent to work on your behalf and you MUST have your financing in place prior to making an offer. Banks are going to require a pre-qualification/pre-approval letter to be submitted with your offer.

Please let me know how I can assist you...I would be happy to help you in your foreclosure finding process!!

Good Luck,

Lisa Allen, REALTOR
Prudential Georgia Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009
Joshua, These will provide links to all the Bank/Gov databases of Properties for Sale (REO/Foreclosure)

You can find out the purchase/bid process for each Bank or Gov. agency by looking at the sites they created to explain it to the public.....

You will find a lot of info on these sites..
Good luck, Dunes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009

Are you working with an agent? It doesn't cost you anything and it would be a good idea.. you wouldn't be having questions like this. As far as your question, it will be required by most banks when presenting an offer to have a at least a loan pre-qualification letter from a lender. Most foreclosures once priced right sell fast and usually have multiple offers if they are a real bargain.. therefore, you should have your financing in order prior to making an offer. It will tell your agent and the seller what you are qualified to buy and make your offer than much stronger than if you didn't have financing ready. I hope that helps. If you need assistance in making offers on foreclosures, I'd love to help. It's one of my specialties. I actually list properties for a bank and am very familiar with purchasing foreclosure properties. Give me a call today if you want to take advantage of my expertise.

David Brower, Assistant Manager/Realtor
Crye-Leike Realtors
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009
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