Can you negotiate the price of a foreclosure?

Asked by statenisland3, San Francisco, CA Fri May 10, 2013

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Fred Herman, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Wed May 15, 2013
Banks prefer cash offers, And they will often accept a lower cash offer over a higher offer that involves a mortgage. Do your homework. Work with an Realtor to determine what is a realistic estimate of the home's value after it's fixed up. Then I would reduce that amount by 10 to 15% to allow some room for error. Estimate the cost of repairs. Get real. Don't use low ball numbers.
Are you going to live in the home if your offer is accepted???? or are you looking to flip the property????? If you're going to flip the home, you need to factor a profit into your calculations.

Now you can determine your maximum offer. In most cases you probably want to your initial offer to be less that your max. But not always. Why?? Because sometimes you don't get a second chance to bump it up. Remember, your offer is competing against other offers. So while your waiting for a counter offer and hoping one of your incrementally increased offers will be accepted, ideally below your maximum, someone else's offer may be accepted.

You need to think about how strongly do you want the home.

Your agent will submit your offer for you. Usually in a few days, it varies, it could be more or less, the bank will accept, reject, or counter-offer.

Sometimes the bank will have the broker handling the foreclosure/REO notify all those who have submitted an offer that they (the bank) have received multiply offers. They ask all those who have submitted an offer to submit their highest and best offer which must be received by a designated date and time.

The bank will choose (but they are not obligated) the offer they consider best from their standpoint. For example they may choose $125,000 cash over a $140,000 offer which is comprised of $20,000 cash down payment and $120,000 mortgage.

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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri May 10, 2013
Depends, therefore review comps with your agent, recently sold similar properties in the immediate area, see what the data suggests and go from there. Keep in mind that if a property is priced on target, or slightly below, multiple offers may occur....
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Terry Farnsw…, Agent, Lisle, IL
Fri May 10, 2013
Sure - however what the lender will ultimately accept usually really depends on what the comparables are selling for and what the property is priced at. If the property is already priced below or at market value, which alot of REO's usually are, then the lender may not be willing to budge much.

With many of these properties, the price typically already reflects the condition - so although you might think it "needs a lot of work so I want a lower price" - that discount may already be factored into the list price in the seller's eyes. Additionally, these properties are generally sold "AS-IS" with no disclosures, so they are typically not going to fix or repair anything for you.

As with any home - It's critical to:

1. Make sure your research is done on comparable property values, making adjustments for the condition of the property. If a property is priced 100k below market value, and needs 30K worth of work, it might be a good deal at list price. If it's priced at market value, but needs 30K worth of work - it might not be a good deal. A comparative market analysis that takes into account any condition issues and the cost to repair them - would be a good place to start.

2. Make sure you get a thorough home inspection before committing to the purchase. Many of these properties haven't been maintained, and have been sitting vacant for a long period of time. Also, the previous owner might not have been too "happy" about losing their property to foreclosure - and as a result took the frustration out on the house.

Hope that helps!
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