There is plenty of advice on the internet. I would try to learn as much as you could about your particular market, your desired neighborhood, the financing available. I would interview several realtors. They are professional people who have been trained to help you with the buying process. you need to get refered to a lending institution and get pre approved. Check back in a let us all know how it is going. This is a great site to get advice.... more
Huge number of threads here on looking for an agent. Basically, interview at least 3. Look for knowledge, but also look for compatibility with you--someone who'll listen to you, respond to you . . . and respond in a way that you feel comfortable.
How do you make that specific offer? First, get an agent. Second, have the agent run a CMA (competitive market analysis) on the land. So, in that regard, make sure that your agent has experience with land, land sales, and land valuation. Once you get the CMA, you'll know approximately how much the land is worth. But land is tricky. What are your plans for the land? Just to hold onto and perhaps build in the future? Build now? Subdivide? Rezone and resell? All these really affect the value.
But once you know the approximate value to you, then you make an offer. Pay no more than the CMA. Probably offer less. Your agent can advise you on the particular strategy.
There are work arounds, you'll need your attorney to draw up an acceptable compromise with the lender. Basically they hold back aprox 150% the estimated cost to do the repair work from the closing with an agreement that the work be done after closing in a timely fashion, after the work is done & approved by the local authorities etc. the remaining balance is returned to the lender from the short sale.
Either way they'll have to address this situation if the property is to sell, either now or in the future. The contract terms for something like this will need to be drawn up by an attorney.