How do you purchase foreclosures? Can the previous owner reclaim the property later?

Asked by Janet, Hudson Falls, NY Sat Sep 20, 2008

This question is about this property:…

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Sat Sep 20, 2008
Hello Janet. There are several ways to purchase a bank owned property. Foreclosure sale (last step in the foreclosure procedure), through an agent once the bank owned property is put on the market and advertised through the MLS, auction. The most risky way to purchase is at the foreclosure sale as you don't have an opportunity to inspect the property prior to placing a bid .

When you purchase a bank owned property that's listed in the MLS, the process is pretty much like buying any other house, except that many banks also have their own addenda that they insist of becoming part of the purchase agreement and the addenda can contain terms that are extremely favorable to the banks.

The banks usually try to sell their properties through the MLS first and if the house does not sell within 6-12 months, they hand them over to auctioneers. When you buy at one of those auctions at which the auctioneers sell huge blocks of bank owned properties, you usually have the opportunity to inspect the properties prior to the auction as the auction houses will hold the homes open for a couple of weekends prior to the auction date.

Whether or not the former owner has a right to redeem the property depends on how the property was foreclosed. If it was done by way of judicial foreclosure, the owner will have a right to redeem and how much time the owner has to redeem will vary (typically 3-12 months after the foreclosure sale). If the property was foreclosed via trustee sale, there's usually no right of redemption. I hope this helps.
2 votes
Mike & Darle…, Agent, Lexington, SC
Thu Oct 2, 2008
Your safest way would be through an experienced real estate agent. Real estate agents know how to research properties, they have attorneys they work with. You have to make sure title work is complete, the closing attorney's office can take care of that part. My suggestion would be to find an agent that has worked with foreclosure properties recently and knows the market. Agents also have the information you will need for contractors when repairs are necessary. Inspections should be made prior to an offer if possible. Some agents have contractors that will look at the property to make sure it's structurally sound at no cost to you if you use them for the other repairs that come up. There are a lot of stories out there of buyers purchasing foreclosure properties and loosing money because they thought they could get a deal and make money. Be careful.
0 votes
Michael Beck…, , Crestview Hills, KY
Thu Sep 25, 2008
We could get a lot of foreclosured property sold if the lenders would take a look at their side of the process. Often, they don't respond to offers, won't communicate and months to get a deal done. Until things improve in the process, I am reluctant to have my buyers consoder forclosuers.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sat Sep 20, 2008
The foreclosure auction is used to transfer ownership from the person being foreclosed on to the bank. When buying a foreclosed property after the auction and from the bank, all the liens are paid, it si free of tenants and you are not responsible for any back taxes on the property as if you bought through an auction you would. Everything is prorated as of the closing when you would buy it.

There are some things you need to know prior to bidding on a bankowned property. You should have your inspections prior to bidding, once the bank accepts you offer there is no renegotiating the price and in most cases tha bank may let you have 7 days for an inspction, but it is for your knowledge, the offer can not be contingent upon a satisfactory inspection as teh bank wont accept contingincies in their offers. The property is bought as is, so know what you are getting into. make sure your deposit is at least 1% of the sales price and in the form of certified funds, make sure you include a pre approval letter with your offer. Be ready to close in 30 days from bank acceptance and lastly dont ask the bank to fix anything or put any contingincies in your offer. Most importantle dont try to change anything on the bank addendums, it will cause your offer to be rejected. Good Luck.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Sat Sep 20, 2008
This foreclosure is going to auction. Foreclosure properties purchase is like a regular purchase only the bank holding the paper will have to approve the sale instead of an individual. Auctions are a little different; in an auction, you must register, have 10% of the money in hand, and pay the remainder usually within 30 days. A buyer's agent can help you find foreclosures and assist you at auction, if you wish.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more