FOR ALL OTHERS: The only "sellers market" in america is the foreclosure market. Don't expect any deals from a foreclosure as the bidding process brings 20-30 people to bid on almost every deal. A deal that was already priced at market.
It's easier to get a deal by going to a realtor, asking them to find the oldest property on the market and start dropping discounted offers. In addition, you won't have to wait 30-60 days to hear an answer.
Of course every market is different, but they also have lots in common. Here in Central Florida 10% of all listed homes are either short-sales, in-foreclosure or REO's. Foreclosure no longer means destroyed, actually the opportunity to find great homes in as new conditions and at great prices is more of the rule now.
It will be a good idea to look at short-sales, since the owners already have emotionally detached from saving the property and the bank will rather accept an offer than go thru an expensive foreclosure. Your best bet is to find a Realtor to assist you with the search, as a buyer the Realtor representation will be a free service to you. Just make sure to interview them, clarify what your intentions are, and that you feel comfortable with each other.
Hope this helps!
I have to agree with Perry.
While it is possible to find some pretty great deals through foreclosures, it is equally possible to find even better deals dealing directly with owners.
Many of today's foreclosures are the result of people being upside down on their mortages (meaning: they owe more on the mortgage than the property is now worth), and banks are stuck with a depreciated asset. It is not likely, in these types of cases, that the banks will be willing to negotiate too far below market value, and, as Perry said, you will likely be competing against other people bidding on the property thinking it's the deal of a lifetime simply because it iS a foreclosure.
Again, this is not to say that you can't find a great deal by looking into foreclosures (just beware of "as is" condition, possible deferred maintenance issues, and the fact that there are no disclosures, meaning, basically, you will buying into the property blindly). Just don't exclude straight sales because you are just as likely - if not more likley - to find a great deal (with less hassle)through those channels, too. And you will be dealing directly with the owner, who has complete control over the final "yeah or nay" to your offer.
regardless who ownes the property, bank or private individual, you must first qualify for a home loan
First thing to do is to call your favorite mortgage company anf get qualified
2 yrs employment history,
the income necessary to pay the note
not too many bebts/collections
a credit score of at least 580 for FHA, and 3.5% cash down, and 4% cash to close the loan
So the info is out there & free for the taking, you just need to know where to look. (hope this helps & good luck).
The best route is to contact an area real estate professional and utilize their services. they will be able to provide foreclosure properties and a lot more. It may be the best deal going....professional services not costing you anything.
Contact a Chicago area realtor and get started.