It depends...If you are working with an agent, then the agent will find out all the scoop for you
by calling the listing agent. Unfortunately, the status of the listing in Multiple Listing System (MLS) is not always shown correctly. It gets especially bad in short sales, when the property is under agreement yet is showing as active.That's why it's best for your agent to call/email the listing agent.
Your agent can ask all the important questions that you have. Questions you might want to ask:
1) Is this an REO (Real Estate Owned) property? REO means a foreclosed property (the bank now owns it) 2) Is this a short sale? Short sale is when the owner is in financial hardship and owes more than the property is worth. Short sales are subject to the short sale bank's approval 3) How long has the seller has been in default? This is important because new changes in FL law will expedite many foreclosures 4) How many lenders are on the property? 5) Are there maintenance/HOA fees due on the property? 6) Are there city or other liens on the property? etc.Having a good agent on your team simplifies your your search for information...
If you do this research yourself, you can also get in touch with the listing agent or the marketing/co-brokering agent. This could be done through Trulia.com, Realtor.com, Zillow.com. Hope this helps.
Good luck with your search!
Irina Karan/Beachfront Realty, Inc. Certified REO Specialist, CDPE 305-904-2355 IrinaKaran@gmail.com