How do I buy a foreclosure?

Asked by Darenjblomquist, 92691 Thu May 14, 2009

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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat May 16, 2009

Our recommendation is to to this by identifying an agent that will work in your best interests: providing possible homes, showing you these homes, and leading you through the process step-by-step with your interest in mind.

Good luck
1 vote
Mary Morris, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Thu May 14, 2009
If you're talking about a full foreclosure (bank owned/REO) they are a relatively easy transaction if you have a full package, ready to go for submittal.

Bank owned in south OC are selling very fast, less than 30 days, at 98-103% of the sales price, with multiple offers. Make sure your agent is experienced in these transactions including having a track record of winning the offer or you will be wasting your time.

If you want to talk more, please feel free to email me direct at I've won and closed multiple bank owned properties in the past few months with some of them having upwards to 25 offers on the property. It's all a matter of knowing how to play the game!

Good luck
1 vote
Mission Viejo…, , Mission Viejo, CA
Thu May 14, 2009
Right now there are 10 REOs (bank owned) in Mission Viejo available, ranging in price from $179K to $829K.
You need to prove you have the money to close escrow (downpayment, and closing costs in your bank account), and have proof that you can get the loan you need. The bank that is selling the property wants to make sure the transaction will go though. I have lived in Mission Viejo for over 30 years so I know the areas and what would be a good neighborhood to invest in. Call or email me, my information is on my web site.
You can search the MLS on the site also.
1 vote
Karen Parsons…, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Thu May 14, 2009

Well...first we need to identify what you are looking for...sounds like you are thinking Mission Viejo? I'm in Mission Viejo. Once we know what you would like to find, price range, size etc...we can start researching the homes to put you in a good position to get your offer accepted.

First thing is for us to talk about your criteria....

I have information on the website below which talks about foreclosures and short sales, you can read how I approach things there....if it makes sense, we can talk more.

1 vote
Brian VerBurg, Agent, Ladera Ranch, CA
Fri Apr 13, 2012
A true foreclosure sale happens at auction and is paid for cash. They types of deals can be great, but there is competition and the buyer needs to know what they are doing.
Most people who want to buy foreclosures do not have enough cash to purchase a home outright at auction but they can get a loan to purchase a home. In this case you can purchase a home that was previously foreclosed on and now the bank owns (called an REO- this happens when the bank was owed more than anyone was willing to bid at the auction- they then own the property and list it with an agent at lower than market price) or you can purchase a shortsale- which is a preforclosure sale. In both of these case you make an offer to the lender and after acceptance there is an escrow period giving you enough time to obtain a loan (of course you must already be pre approved when submitting the offer).
I hope this helps.
0 votes
Sam Miliotis, Agent, North Chesterfield, VA
Tue Mar 22, 2011
If you are looking to buy a TRUE foreclosure, first you need to know what one is. A TRUE foreclosure is a home that is in the foreclosure process and is being sold at a Trustee auction. Once it goes to a Trustee sale and if no one (third party) buys it, then it goes back to the bank and its called a REO (Real Estate Owned). So, if you are a Foreclosure buyer, then you have to have available cash to bid and buy at a Trustee Foreclosure Auction. That is the only TRUE foreclosure homes.
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Diane Kaefer, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Tue Mar 22, 2011
Hi! There are many banked owned properties for sale. You should choose a realtor that is experienced in negotiating & closing bank owned properties. I would be happy to work with you. I have over 25 years experience. I am a Broker/Owner as well as a Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator (I can assist you a loan pre-approval). You can reach me at (949) 637-1495. Looking forward to hearing from you. Diane
0 votes
Diane Kaefer, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Wed Feb 9, 2011
Hi Daren, Yes, you do need to work with an experienced Broker. I have over 25 years real estate experience. I am a Real Estate Broker/Owner, Licensed Loan Originator, Background Screened & Certified Notary Signing Agent. I am honest, hard-working detail oriented, have integrity & take pride in my work. I have closed many short sales including one that had 4 liens against it. I have closed several bank owned properties; one that could not be financed conventionally; I helped my Buyer through the process of a 203K Loan. There are many distressed homes for sale. Please give me a call (949-637-1495) or shoot me an email ( I would like the opportunity to work with you!
0 votes
David Mayes, , Mission Viejo, CA
Wed Jan 5, 2011
Hi Darren,

Buying foreclosures is easy.

First thing is decide which city you want to live in.
Then go to and place the city name where you want to live
Then select Bank Foreclosures option and view all available Bank forecosures in that city
Next phone me to view the inside of the homes you selected
If you are a cash buyer you can make an immediate offer, if not, I will arrange for you to meet with a Lender who has the best interest rates and the most lending options available.

Buying a Bank Foreclosure is that easy!

If you would rather have me email you a list of Bank foreclosures weekly, just email me at:
0 votes
David Chiles, Other Pro, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Oct 30, 2010
Thank you for your question about purchasing a foreclosure property. I recommend understanding the process and using a good local agent. Please be aware that purshasing a foreclosure property requires more time and effort than purchasing a property that is not distressed.

The Foreclosure process starts when a homeowner cannot pay the mortgage and ends when the home is resold. The three stages of Foreclosure are: Pre-Foreclosure, Auction, and REO/Bank Owned. Pre-Foreclosure is the time period a homeowner has to repay the delinquent amount of the mortgage. If a homeowner does not pay the mortgage the home is auctioned. If the bids do not meet the reserve the lien holder (bank) reclaims the property and it becomes a Bank Owned REO.
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Stephanie Sh…, Agent, Laguna Niguel, CA
Wed Oct 27, 2010
Since I sell 2-5 foreclosures a month I can tell you there is tricks and treats to buying a bank owned property. Most important is to work with an agent that has experience selling foreclosures. This is because the process the bank has for selling their assets is specific and it can save you a lot of money if you have someone with experience on your side. For example the bank is not emotional about the sale and there is a bottom line price they are looking for in addition at different times of the year the bank has to get properties off their book for their balance sheets and it is important to know when that is so you the can take advantage and save money.
As a buyer for a big investment company I can tell you that many bank owned properties sell for a retail price however there is also several that sell for 100's of thousands less. The key to the deal is being informed.
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Shannon Adams, Agent, Laguna Hills, CA
Wed Oct 20, 2010
Banks hire real estate agents to list and market their foreclosures. So you would buy it the same as you would buy any property.
You could however, also buy it at the Trustee Sale, which is just prior to the foreclosure. The problem with buying it at the trustee sale is, your offer must be all cash, and there maybe some clouds on the title which you will have to remedy.
Buying a bank owned property is much quicker and easier than buying a shortsale. You will have an acceptance or rejection withing a day or two.
Most buyers think buying a foreclosure is the best deal, but that is not the case. The bank requires a property valuation from agents and from an appraiser. Their goal is to get market value for the property.
0 votes
Jess Mendoza, Agent, Anaheim, CA
Thu Oct 22, 2009
Search for properties at
Web Reference:
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Mission Viejo…, , Mission Viejo, CA
Fri Aug 21, 2009
Darenjblomqu, Hope you aren't still looking. Bottom prices have gone up in Mission Viejo since you first asked this question. Total of only 5 REOs are available right now. As always you can check it out for yourself on my web.
0 votes
Jesse Sierra, Agent, Pomona, CA
Thu Aug 20, 2009
Are you buying cash or financing the purchase?

Jes Sierra, B.Sc.
0 votes
Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Thu Aug 20, 2009
@ Shirley

No spam please! When in doubt, please refer to our Community Guidelines
0 votes
Shirley B. C…, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Thu Aug 20, 2009
Contact a licensed REALTOR ! Call 714 791-5101...I can find the perfect home for you! From the "Desert to the SEA" Shirley B. Costello Century 21 BEACHSIDE Realtors.
Web Reference:
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Erin Valovich, Agent, Laguna Niguel, CA
Sat Jun 27, 2009
Hi Daren.

Are you referencing purchasing at the courthouse steps? If this is the case, then there is alot of digging and team building you need to do. I would love to have the time to give advice on this, but check out the real estate section at Borders and you will see many guides on how to do this.

Beware that the process, as well as the financing and inspection process, is tedious, and there are big dollars on the line. I have been at auctions where a buyer bought a 2nd trust deed when he thought he was buying the first, or where the chain of title is not clear. I am not trying to discourage you, but these are not for the unprepared.

Purchasing a foreclosure that is marketed with a real estate broker is not all that different than purchasing an equity property, but there are pitfalls.

You need to read the purchase contract carefully to be crystal clear on your timelines. With most REO properties, your deposit goes hard, meaning is physically delivered to the owner (the bank) within a passive contingency removal timeframe.

What this means is that in the event you want to walk from the transaction, and if you do not cancel the contract within the timeframes on the contract and addendums, your deposit will be forfeited. This is obviously critical.

The inspection timelines are usually much tighter as well.

Best wishes!
0 votes
Mission Viejo…, , Mission Viejo, CA
Tue May 26, 2009
Hi Daren,

Don't know what price range you may qualify for but I do know the REOs (bank owned) are few in Mission Viejo area. and only 3% are short sales. The lower priced properties are getting multiple offers on them.
You can call me if you have questions or check out the MLS listings on my web site.
0 votes
Michael G.Gr…, , Orange County, CA
Mon May 25, 2009
Hi Daren,

1. The first step is to get pre-qualified before you start looking at anything. That way you will know what price range you qualify for. No matter what type of purchase you make whether its Foreclosure, Bank Owned, or Equity seller, you will be tied to your price range.
2. Select a Realtor to work with. The Realtor will be able to provide you with foreclosure listings. The way I like to provide my clients with listings is to provide them with automatic email updates. That way their search is on autopilot. They can preview the listings complete with pictures and decided if its something of interest before we even go out to see the property.
3. When a home is in foreclosure, it is usually, in most cases a short sale. A short sale is when a seller is offering the home for sale for less than they owe on it. And short sales are either approved upon listing or not approved. If you encounter a short sale that is approved upon listing it simply means that the sale price has already been approved by the lender. If the short sale is not approved upon listing, it will be subject to the lender's approval once an offer is submitted. The time it takes to get a short sale offer approved by the lender is different depending upon who the lender is. You may have to wait as little as a couple of weeks or as long as a few months to find out if your offer has been accepted.
4. Every seller is different but usually your agent would have to present the purchase contract and appropriate addendum's, pre-approval letter from your lender, and copy of your ernest money deposit check.
5. As a Realtor I can tell you that there are many details involved, but one thing that you can count on is that we handle all of those details on your behalf and speaking for myself keep you updated as we go along. As long as you have a Realtor working with you, you can't go wrong.

Best Regards,

Michael G. Grimm, Realtor
Loan Consultant, Loan/Debt Modification Consultant
(877) 444-3993 (toll free direct)
Web Reference:
0 votes
., , Jupiter, FL
Fri May 15, 2009
Buying a foreclosure is different in process than a convential purchase.
There are Realtors that specialize or have experience in buying foreclosures. Each state has different legal requirements.
Best advice is to find and consult with a Realtor familiar with the process in your state/location
Web Reference:
0 votes
Oc Buyer, Home Buyer, CDM
Thu May 14, 2009
Umm, when you submit an offer, do you not just submit your pre approval from a lender? You don't provide all this to the listing agent to submit to the asset manager with an offer do you?

You need to prove you have the money to close escrow (downpayment, and closing costs in your bank account), and have proof that you can get the loan you need. The bank that is selling the property wants to make sure the transaction will go though


We have bought two REO's. We needed to submit a preapproval along with our offer. Some banks require that you get a preapproval from them in order to submit an offer, but you don't necessarily have to use them for the loan. Are you preapproved with a lender yet? If not, this should be your first priority as you will need it to have an offer considered.

Secondly, most of the time the properties are sold "as is where is" so you want to have a good inspector should your offer be accepted.

Thirdly, be a little more patient as the banks don't respond the same way a normal seller does.
0 votes
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