Buy a just foreclosed home before it hits the market? Home was foreclosed on Mar. 2

Asked by K. Lewis, Oceanside, CA Fri Mar 11, 2011

Is there a way to negotiate with the bank that has just foreclosed on a home between then and when it hits the market or is the only other option to wait the 30-45 days until it does?

We tried to buy this house when it was a short sale and because of the bank's (ING) unprofessionalism and slowness in getting back to us with answers we needed- there was not enough time to close on time and they refused to grant us an extension (even tho we gave them everything they demanded - on time! This is what the listing now says:

This property is an REO (Real Estate Owned). This is the final step in the foreclosure process. Ownership has reverted to the lender. This 1920 square foot property has 3 bedroom(s) and 2 bath(s). The estimated sale price is $305,152.00

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Tony Cannon, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Fri Mar 11, 2011
Out of the numerous times I have tried for my buyers, I was succesful once in getting the buyer to purchase a foreclosed home before it was put on the market. It is very time consuming to find the right asset manager and to be persistent, and policies vary from bank to bank. The bank that did oblige was Downey Savings/US Bank.
1 vote
John Schinkel, Agent, Colorado, CO
Fri Aug 17, 2012
In my experience, you can not do this under normal circumstances. I work primarily with investors and Buyers looking for great deals so I have gone down this road several times. It is understandably frustrating to be a Buyer, well qualified and ready to buy a house but with no way to present an offer to the owner. I offer a two part explanation as to why bidding on a foreclosure prior to it's oficial listing date is typically not an option. First, the bank wants as much for the asset as the market will bear. To accomplish this, it is necessary to expose the property to as many buyers as possible. Not only do they want the property on the local MLS, usually they will leave it on the market long enough to accumulate multiple offers. This creates a competitive situation that often progresses to the would-be buyers improving their initial offer during the asset manager's call for highest and best.

Secondly, in many situations (not all), the original home owner will be pursued by the bank for a deficiency judgement. If that homeowner can make the case to a judge that the deficiency is based on a low sales price that resulted from the lender's failure to make a reasonable attempt to get as much for the property as possible, the lender's case may be substantially weakened or thrown out all together. And, to take this a step further, a lender who made a practice of accepting offers without exposing the property to the market then pursuing the defaulting home owner for the deficiency would likely end up facing a class action law suit.

I usually attach a tag to the property for my Buyer which alerts me and her or him immediately upon the addresses activation in the MLS.
0 votes
Janet McCart…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sat Mar 17, 2012
Probably not, the banks have their own "system" of listing properties and it often runs contrary to good business. Just think about all the trouble you had dealing with the bank when the house was a short sale. Wait for the house to be listed and be ready to submit your offer. You might be getting a better deal by the house being a foreclosure than it was when it was a short sale. Banks demand a lot when the house is a short sale - there are still looking at the numbers, but it's a little different when the house is a REO.
0 votes
Joseph Arend…, Agent, Encinitas, CA
Fri Mar 9, 2012
The only way I would see it being possible is to get in touch with the asset manager the property gets assigned to. Tell him your situation and how you already know everything there is to know about the property. Once he is aware of the current value of the property and sees that you are willing to pay fair market value for it he may consider you as the best & most reliable buyer. It’s a long shot but if you can get his contact info its worth attempting. Good luck,
Also if you want to keep your eye on the property and get updated once it hits the market you can do so by using Simply locate where the property is on the map then save your search and once it is listed you will receive an email.
0 votes
Robert Range, Agent, Reno, NV
Fri Mar 11, 2011
Probably not. I've tried this a few times for Buyer's and the banks have never been interested in looking at any offers until the property has been assigned to a listing agent and marketed for at least a few days. Makes sense - as they are looking to maximize the purchase price. See if your agent can find out who is getting the listing before it goes into MLS, they might be able to get your offer into the asset manager first. Being first is sometimes all it takes. But short answer is you are most likely going to have to wait until it comes on market. Good luck!

Prudential Sierra Nevada Properties
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0 votes
Tyler Brown, Agent, Cardiff, CA
Fri Mar 11, 2011
It is possible to contact the asset manager and have them give you the contact info of the Realtor they will assign. You can have you agent contact the REO listing agent and find outy when you can submit the offer. Typically they have to do cash for keys and get the occupant out before they can do anything. From there, different asset managers have different rules about having to list it for a certain amount of time, having to have a BPO done, etc.
I have bought a few properties in this fashion. If you want to contact me with the address I can call the asset manager for you.
0 votes
John Linthur…, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Fri Mar 11, 2011
I suppose there is a way, but I don’t know of one. Essentially when the bank takes a home back it does eventually get assigned to a local broker (hopefully) and a proper market price will then be attached. It is best for all of us this way. Banks have no obligation to give any one a good buy, and to the contrary, try to receive as close to market value as they can. A wide exposure accomplishes that. In fact FANMAE has adopted a two week acceptance hold on some of their repossessions to filter forward owner occupant buyers from the investor crowd. The market place will heal best when every house is exposed to the maximum amount of buyers. I know the neighbors will appreciate that statement.
0 votes
Kari Shea, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Mar 11, 2011
Hi K,

Our advice is to have your agent contact the short sale contact at ING and see if they can refer you to the asset manager. Our company gets REO listings from banks and the potential issue you may run into is the bank may want a broker on the sale to protect their interest.

Otherwise, it could take 30 to 150 days to list depending on the speed of their internal processes. The number 1 item they will need to handle is to make sure the title is transferred properly from the former owner to the bank. We have found that is the longest part of the process to list and to close when someone buys the home.

We hope this helps.


Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
Serving Greater San Diego
0 votes
Daniela Mars…, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Fri Mar 11, 2011
It used to be possible years ago when the banks were more local but now it is very hard to know who and where to call. Sometimes the bank will assign the listing immediately to an agent but might not tell the agent the sale price for weeks. It is also possible that the bank will sell the home to investors in a bulk sale. As someone suggested drive by the property and if you see a sign or a paper on the window with a phone number, contact the agent who might be able to give you more information. If the house comes back on the market and you still want to buy it, make an aggressive offer; there is nothing more silly than working so hard to buy a house and than losing it because of trying to "get a deal".
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0 votes
Chris Fechete, Agent, Myrtle Beach, SC
Fri Mar 11, 2011
Unless you can contact the asset manager directly and offer them cash (fair market value) the answer is no.

It should not take to long for the home to get back on the market usually 2-6 weeks.

Let me know if I can help.

Best regards,

Chris Fechete
Realtor®, MBA
Cell: (760) 500-5326
“I appreciate your confidence and I reward you with my loyalty.”
0 votes
Diane Conaway, Agent, Escondido, CA
Fri Mar 11, 2011
It can be very quick to get a foreclosed home on the market in our area. There are several factors such as the lender, whether it is occupied and the condition of the property. There are also ways to get a head start on the purchase of these homes.
0 votes
Joey Rennick, , 91941
Fri Mar 11, 2011
I have looked into this extensively, and there does not seem to be a way to purchase an REO before it hits the market. The best you can do is to drive by it once every 2 weeks or so, to see if it has a lockbox on the door. The lockbox will sometimes have the listing brokers contact info - or they might place a sign in front before it hits the market. Even if they have an offer, they typically have to place it on the MLS for a certain amount of time to give other buyers a chance to make offers.

Joe Rennick
DRE Lic #01871454
0 votes
Joan Wilson, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Mar 11, 2011
The complex answer is have your Realtor or you call the bank or new owner and let them know that you had an offer in on the house and would like to put your offer in. Sometimes they will tell you who the agent will be, or if you are very blessed...look at your offer. Patience is needed.

Let me know if I can help you in any way!

Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker, Certified REO and Short Sale/HAFA Specialist)

California Cool 4 Sale
Prudential California Realty
Direct Phone: 760-757-3468
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0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Fri Mar 11, 2011
It takes a while from 8 weeks to year before the property is processed through the banking system(s)

In some instances home COULD be offered inventory of investors purchase in a lot

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Fri Mar 11, 2011
The easy answer is probably not. Banks have a set way they do things and for you to even find the person who could make a decision to sell it to you would be difficult for CSI people. It will have to work its way through the banks system. Soon they will contact an agent to go to the house and put on new locks and view the condition. They will do a price appraisal for the bank, this is when the bank will decide how much to list it for and until they get this back form the agent it is unlikely they would be willing to sell it. Then the agent lists it on the mls system and any Realtor can now show it or sell it. This is your time to buy it.
0 votes
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