I keep hearing that there are foreclosures/short-sales all over Tampa. Where can I go to get a list of them?

Asked by Justin, Tampa, FL Mon Nov 12, 2007

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Cyndee & Jack…, Agent, Seminole, FL
Sun Nov 25, 2007
We have worked with several home buyers this year and short sales. You can get info from the MLS and working with local real estate agents.

I have to tell you most home buyers are unaware of the process and what this entails. People seem to believe "short sales" represent great deals however our experience is there are lots of deals on non-short sale properties.

We have a client put an offer on a home and waited 3 months and the bank never accepted the offer they finally got tired of waiting and knew now was the time to buy and they ended up moving on and bought a home for a great value what wasn't a short sale.

This week we had a client who has had their offer in on a short sale for 4 months and the bank finally gave an ok and they had 1 week to do inspections and appraisals and they still scheduled to auction it on Tuesday. We had the inspection on Friday after Thanksgiving and it turns out their were termites in the pool, a 20K gallon pool was generating a 50K gallon water bill in an empty home (can you say pool leak) there were so many problems that it would not pass a 4-point inspection so they could get insurance even if they wanted to buy it. Now after 4 months they are back to looking at homes again.

If you are looking at short sales I would make sure the bank has accepted your offer before as the buyer you start putting out money for appraisals, inspections, etc. You can't get that money back. You really need a good agent working for you as the buyer and hopefully the agent on the listing side has done the legwork with the bank to know what they will take and that the process is begun otherwise it is a long process with no guarantees.

Most banks want to get 75-85% the value of a home since they are limited as to what they can write off so is it really a good deal for you? We tell homebuyers let's look for a good value and often it's the homes that are pre-foreclosure or going into divorce, moving or some other outside force that motivates them to sell in this market at a good price so they DON'T go into foreclosure.

If we can be of assistance don't hesitate to ask. :-)
6 votes
UnityOne, , 33618
Sun Dec 2, 2007
Justin, you can visit http://www.UNITYONE.com to view over 50 listings right now in the Tampa Bay Area. You can view our company's profile on Trulia at http://www.trulia.com/voices/profile/Real_Estate_Pro-33618-112410/
Web Reference:  http://www.UNITYONE.com
2 votes
Lisa Spencer,…, Agent, Lithia, FL
Tue Nov 13, 2007
Just want to take a moment to elaborate on some previous posts. There is a lot of hype out there about short sales and foreclosures because there are a lot of companies that profit by conducting seminars and generating lists to sell. As stated previously short sales and foreclosures are not always your best deal. The current glut of short sale and foreclosure properties has been caused by the speculative "Day Trader" that entered the housing market a few years ago and put a home under contract with a builder and assumed they would never have to make a mortgage payment and the home would appreciate by 30% before it was completed. Sub prime loans were easy to get and lenders were letting "anyone" buy a home just so they could "sell" the money available in their portfolio.... Now fast forward to fall 2007... Builders are still building and closing out communities that they started during the "rage"... "Investors" are desperate to unload their properties, and families that stretched too much to get into that house in 2005 can't make the "adjustments" in the adjustable rate mortgage. The banks are selling at a loss when they offer a foreclosure or short sale, but a loss from what? They are selling at a loss from the run away train prices that are no longer sustained by our current market. There are plenty of "Lists" out there that many entrepreneurs of our current market will sell you, but your best value will be found by working with a professional that will help you make a wise investment. There are plenty of Sellers with equity in their homes, especially those that bought in the early 90's, and if they have to sell they can offer you a much better deal than the bean counters at the bank.
Web Reference:  http://lisaspencerhomes.com/
2 votes
Myke Atwater, Agent, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Mon Nov 12, 2007
Here's another vote for "talk to a realtor"--realtors have access to information through multiple listing that can help you identify what might be a great buy or not--they have access to a fair amount of information that could be helpful to you in making a decision. Such "lists" are usually inaccurate anyway, and if you are going to buy a short sale, you really need an advocate giving you the best information.
Web Reference:  http://www.myketriebold.com
2 votes
Michael Vald…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Mon Nov 12, 2007
you can get a list at the following link...
2 votes
Jeff Launiere…, , Tampa, FL
Mon Nov 12, 2007
The easiest way is through a Realtor. We have access to short-sales through the MLS. Foreclosures can also be found through the county clerks office. With that said I tell my clients that we should find the best buys, and these are not necessarily the foreclosures or short-sales.

Some short-sales and foreclosures are great buys, but there are many that are either brand new construction of regular listings that can be just as good a buy. Be careful with foreclosures and even with short-sales as they can often be homes that are vacant for long periods of time with no AC and closed up. They can somtimes have strong mold smells and sometimes when the property is in foreclosure the owners can strip the home of appliances, fixtures and damage the home.

For the right buyer they can be great, but set your sights on the best buy, whether short-sale, foreclosure, or conventional sales.

I have a rule of thirds. One third will not sell because of location or condition or another factor, the middle third is priced too high, and the final third are your best buys. Concentrate on the final third and you will do well.

Lastly, foreclosure are often no bargain. The lender has to try to get as much money back for the investors. It also often costs the lender $50,000 or more to go through the foreclosure process. They will start slightly below market price and work down in price over time.
2 votes
Perry Hender…, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Jan 23, 2008
You want a deal in real estate but you are asking for a foreclosure.... Not good idea as all gov foreclosed homes have to be priced at market value by law! Contact a local real estate pro and drop 20% off offers.

Here is my normal response to foreclosure questions...
FORECLOSURE REALITY CHECK.... Seasoned investors who buy foreclosures know the REO manager at the bank and get "off market" deals. They never have to bid or find a place to learn what's available.

FOR ALL OTHERS: The only "sellers market" in america is the foreclosure market. Don't expect any deals from a foreclosure as the bidding process brings 20-30 people to bid on almost every deal. A deal that was already priced at market. For government foreclosed homes, by law, they have to be priced "at market".

The REO manager has a short list of "cash/close in 2 day buyers", they always get the first right to bid. Then they have to wait for the "public auction" Which drives up those prices. After a 30-60 day period. Then the REO picks the best bid. Sometimes, only sometimes does a REO manager take a property directly to a buyer he knows peronsally. Why should he, he has a bunch of people bidding and driving up the prices.

My REO manager friend likes to joke about all the "first timers" who continue to drive up the bid when they don't hear anything from the bank. Every time I see the "how come I haven't heard from the bank about accepting my foreclosure bid after 30+ days" on trulia, I have to let out a chuckle because he's so right. For those newbies, this is real. They know that when you don't hear from them that a large percentage of people drop a second or third offer higher than the previous one. **WARNING, YOU ARE BEING TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF HERE**

You want a deal on a property right, everyone wants that.... So the moral of this story is:
1. the 60 days you have to wait to hear from a REO, you could have made 2 or 3 better deals with a property that has been on the market for a long period of time. Any realtor can help you drop a crazy offer.
2. You are attempting to make a deal in a house covered in a cloud of bad energy, don't be surprised when it rubs off. Personally I stay away from these for this reason entirely.
3. One way to get a deal is dropping a hand written note on ANY house in a neighborhood you want to buy that says "my girlfriend and I want to buy a house in this neighborhood and yours looks cute from the outside. Do you know anyone that is looking to sell?" I always get responses, better prices and positive energy into the home.
1 vote
Peter, , Tampa, FL
Tue Jan 15, 2008
FYI - The best way to find the type of property you are looking for is to AVOID the realtors. Check multiple sources (bank websites - real estate owned, REO, or other area where they list property for sale) and then check against public record, foreclosures.com and other sources. The total cost of you doing this is sweat equity in terms of how much time you are willing to put into the process. The most expensive part is paying for a service and then checking the results to make sure it is accurate. Compare that cost (about $10-50 per month) vs over priced taxi cab drivers (realtors) at 2-3% of the total cost. Realtors are a joke.

Originally, I and many others went the realtor route. We learned the hard way that realtors really don't know a darn thing.

Lastly, notice I am the only buyer on here... everyone else is a realtor. Have they given you any real information? Or just "ask a realtor".

They have their little club and it's being crushed right now since they can't make any money. And, I for one, am glad they are dying on the vine just like the mortgage brokers.
1 vote
Peter, , Tampa, FL
Tue Jan 15, 2008
Justin -
Realtors are just trying to get a commission. Do NOT listen to them. Most have ZERO understanding of the short sale / foreclosure / pre-foreclosure process. Also, VERY few are good at negotiation. The reason is if they negotiate and the seller nixes the deal, the realtor is out of a commission. So, the realtor's main concern is getting paid, not helping you.

As someone who is VERY actively looking at short sales and distressed properties in Tampa (I live in Arbor Greene), I can tell you stay away from over priced areas (Cheval, Cory Lake Isle, Tampa Palms)... you won't get great deals, just OK ones.

Also, search for the local real estate investment clubs. Go to their meetings and listen. Don't ask for advice, just say you want to learn about real estate as an investment. You'll learn a lot, without having to worry about some shark trying to be your 'coach' and 'help you' find a deal. Many of these guys like Roger Salam are scum of the earth.

Lastly, go to the local library and get a book on the area of real estate you are interested in: foreclosure, short sell, etc. Here you will learn more about the process, methods, etc than any realtor's broker is going even teach them.

FYI - I am a day trader (I trade stock online for investment and income), my wife has multiple commercial pieces of land in Pasco and I am now interested in finding distressed properties as well. Lastly, don't let anyone tell you that "there are still great deals out there in the 'regular' market"... BS Who do you think is under more pain right now? An individual that can't get out of a mortgage and is selling for divorce, work, etc... or a financial institution with major write downs due to the mortgage crisis. (The latter is teh correct answer).

Best regards,
1 vote
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Sun Nov 18, 2007

Most foreclosures are in WORSE condition and have HIGHER list prices than equivalent motivated owner homes. This is why you should want to compare regular listings with Bank REO's. If you look only at Bank homes, you are likely to overpay
1 vote
Ntfeldman, , Tampa, FL
Tue Nov 13, 2007
Justin, are you just looking for the best deal on the market with the fewest hassles? Are you going to be an owner occupant? or are you searching to purchase rental property? or a second home? Cash or borrow to finance?

The list is such a small part of the solution. The Realtor community can help you more if we can better understand your objectives.

What are you really trying to accomplish ? A great value? You want a Short Sale or Foreclosure because you heard about it at a party, bought a book? or saw it one the news? You can get a foreclosure or a short sale but if what you want is a really great buy, there are better deals to be had.

A short sale means the loan on the property is higher than the market value of the property and the lender is willing to work out a deal with the borrower to forgive the difference between the loan value and the market value of the property - but the lender still needs to get market rate for the home - and will eat the marketing and legal costs they would otherwise incur in a foreclosure. Market rate?! That's right, market rate. Are you looking for a market rate property? I'm guessing not. In some cases the property is damaged or neglected and that drives the per sq.ft. price down that the market will pay, but it's still market rate.

"Short Sales" is a buzz word that implies value, but really, it takes 90+ days to work one out, if the deal goes through - and then you get a "market value" property (appraisals are involved in every loan by the way - in a short sale, sometimes two appraisals). Seems like a lot of hard work in a buyer's market doesn't it. They are out there for those who like the sport of them. We work with over 50 lender's on their Short Sales - but these benefit the buyers more than seller's really, they aren't such a great deal for sellers.

Foreclosures, same thing only after the buyer's have moved out and lost their equity and the lender puts the property up for sale at market rate and generally eats the legal and marketing expenses to take the property back. Still, their bank boards need them to get market rate for the property. the Bank's loss is in the costs to move the property that they don't normally incur.

If you're looking for a below market deal, you want a property that's for sale that has a low owner's basis and a compromised seller (read must sell). These aren't on a list anywhere but there are ways of finding them. You can work with any knowledgeable Realtor to run the appropriate reports and help you hunt for them.

Good luck in your search. There are some great values out there but get your lending in order or your cash ready before you go shopping. Bargain properties go to the prepared.
Web Reference:  http://www.EisnerFeldman.com
1 vote
Antonio, Agent, Tampa, FL
Mon Nov 12, 2007
I just can't believe it !!!!!!
what so called "Professional" saying you go to the courthouse and find Shortsale.......i wonder why there's such a thing as a Realtor then?
Short sale, is a ending process..... most owner will realize at the end; when a Realtor let them know It will save their...back!
Best way to pursue such things as Foreclosure and Shortsale is, either beeing a veteran investor or a Professional REALTOR.
P.S: for whoever paste links with R.E.O or Foreclosure........ at least make sure you update them!
1 vote
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Mon Nov 12, 2007
Usually this properties are on the market. I would suggest talking with a local Realtor. Just a quick heads up that short sales and foreclosures are not necessarily great buys. Many are sold "as Is" without any repairs or warranties to the property.
1 vote
David Chambe…, , Saint Petersburg, FL
Mon Nov 3, 2008
here are a couple hundred Shortsales/Pre-foreclosures from the mls. I dont show homes in tampa so just give your Realtor the MLS # and they will be able to pull it up.
0 votes
Get-smart, , Durham, NC
Sat Nov 1, 2008
We come across short sale deals in Tampa Florida if you are interested in getting deals from time to time. Join our buyers list.
0 votes
Tom, , Tampa, FL
Wed Jan 23, 2008

I don't know the answer to your question and I will tell you that right up front. I have to agree with Peter, below. Did anyone of the "REALTORS" give a straight answer with the information you requested or did they push you to hit thier website?

Just to get a simple question asked you have to "form a relationship" with them. If a guy has half a brain and is willing to do a little leg-work, he can get far more accomplished at a fraction of the cost.

Good luck
0 votes
Todd Engala, , Riverview, FL
Wed Jan 16, 2008

Either route, working with a REALTOR or going it on your own, can answer your question. But speaking as an over paid taxi driver, a REALTOR, there are deals out there in the "regular market" (anything but regular right now). If you are looking to flip properties as a regular source of income then by all means I suggest that you find out everything you can as well as consulting a REALTOR. There is no cost to you as a buyer working with a REALTOR, as Peter below suggested otherwise, the buyers agent is paid by the seller. A REALTOR can do allot of the research for you as well as helping you with the transaction. In my opinion the current foreclosure market is largely the fault of subprime loans and creative financing. In retrospect the REALTOR may have some blame for not counseling certain buyers on what they can afford and warning them about the risk of some of the creative financing that was being offered. The last time I counseled a client concerning creative financing the buyer went to another REALTOR. The website foreclosures.com is a website run by a real estate agent (commercial). Also when buying with an agent you have additional protection concerning your transaction (legal recourse). It’s great to see both sides of the equation and your satisfaction will be based on your experience so you have nothing to lose by contacting a REALTOR to start your search. Happy Hunting!

PS - A REALTOR's income is based on their information of the current market and the real estate industry it is no surprise that an agent would not answer your question directly in a forum like this but would if you contact one directly and start a working relationship.
0 votes
Todd Engala, , Riverview, FL
Mon Jan 14, 2008
Again a REALTOR is the best place to find foreclosures. Your REALTOR can send you the foreclosures in the area you are looking for, at the price you are willing to pay. You do not have to look for foreclosures on the web a REALTOR will email them to you automatically. Some websites that I have seen have outdated (sold) properties on their website and this becomes frustrating calling and finding out which properties are active. Get yourself a REALTOR that you can trust and work with that is quick to spot what you are looking for. I agree with the other responses concerning the value of buying foreclosures, it’s not always the best way to go. It is a buyers market right now. With the right REALTOR working for you, you will the find that property you want, for the price you want.
0 votes
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