When buying a foreclosed home it is usually sold as is and extensive repairs may be needed. Chances are investors have already looked at the property and determined rehab value, hence many offers are submitted and the bidding begins. Owner occupantâ€™s usually have an advantage if they act fast and have their paperwork in order as they usually get a 15 day first look at properties. In our area of the country â€œflippersâ€ usually make 10-15% on an investment purchase. My advice to you, until you become a professional in the market stay away from short sales it is a very frustrating process. Also hire a full time agent with skills at making offers on bank owned properties, interview at least 3 agents and sign a 1 day buyers agency agreement with all 3 have each show you properties on 3 different days then comment long term to the agent you think will be best able to assist you. There are some very skilled agents in the market place that can really help you through the process. Many have a license but few hold the skills that will save you money and ensure a good transaction in the REO arena.