How do you purchase a house on foreclosure ? Is it the same process as buying a "regular house" ie- through a real estate agent, etc?

Asked by Jill, Northeast Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA Wed Jul 6, 2011

Do certain agents handle foreclosures- or can all agents find one for you? Or do you find one yourself?

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Ron Thomas’ answer
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed Jul 6, 2011
Buying a house that has gobe thru foreclosure is exactly the same as a "regular" purchase, except for the following:

1.) Since the house has gone thru foreclosure, it is now owned by a Bank, not and individual
2.) Since the Bank owns it, no one at the Bank can tell (Disclose) anything about the house; this would include work done, leaks, repairs, things damaged, flooding, neighborhood noice, etc.
3.) There is no emotion involved; they don't care if you will love their house.
4.) All they care about is money.
5.) They are a bureaucracy
6.) They want to sell the house AS-IS, no repairs, no warranties
7.) They don't want to pay for any inspections
8.) The Escrow will take 45-60 days (as opposed to a normal 30 days.)
9.) They won't want to pay for any of your Closing Costs
10.) You may be able to buy the house for 20-50% less than a "normal" sale
11.) You will probably have some repairs to do.
12.) Many REO's will not qualif for FHA financing (due to Health & Safety issues)

You really, really, really want to have your own Agent protecting your interests!!!

Good luck and may God bless
1 vote
Danielle Gur…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sun Jun 10, 2012
Hello Jill,

I could not agree more with the response below that you NEED a buyers agent protecting your interests during the process of purchasing a foreclosed home. Many times they are sold as is and so there are many contingencies to address. Aside from that yes the process is the same, you qualify for a mortgage and use an agent to find your home and assist with the transaction. I would be happy to assit you! I work closely with a loan officer from our in house lenders and I could have a prequalification with in a day or two and we can begin house hunting! Please give me a call!

Danielle R Gurst
REMAX Affiliates NE
267 423 2623
0 votes
Bruce Lang, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sun Jul 10, 2011
generally they wll be listed with an agent so in some capacity you will be dealing with an agent....the BIG BIG BIG issue is time...they take 3-12 months to close. be patient. if you cannot wait that lon, don't will just get upset.
0 votes
Harilaos Ste…, , Philadelphia, PA
Thu Jul 7, 2011
Hi Jill. I have experience with foreclosures. I also helped many first time home buyers purchase a house. Northeast Philadelphia is an area I know very well. I can help you figure it all out. Feel free to call me at 267-688-7655. Thank you.
0 votes
, ,
Thu Jul 7, 2011
Hello Jill,

The process is the same buit you may encounter issues that are different from buying a "regular house" Thes issues have been explained very well by several Realtors here

There are agents that specialize in selling REO's but you are looking for a buyers agent. so I would have to say that any experienced Realtor will have had exerience with REO's at this point. If you find a good Realtor they will be able to answer all of your questions. There seem like lots of good realtors here. I have spoken with FamousEric and he knows his stuff, but I am sure many of the others do too.


Alan Openshaw
Cornerstone Lending Inc
Southampton Pa 18966
215 953 0800
cell 267 992 7276
0 votes
Edmund Choi, Agent, Paoli, PA
Wed Jul 6, 2011
There are nuances -- additional paperwork, assumption of certain seller tasks, etc. -- compared to a traditional resale scenario, but nothing to be alarmed about if properly represented. There are certainly a lot of myths surrounding response and closing times, discount ratios, etc.; once again, experience will provide better insight to negotiate the best deal for you. Good Hunting!
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Carolyn Mosl…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Wed Jul 6, 2011
Jill you’ve had tons of agents reply to your previous post, you really should consult with one of them as you have lots of questions. You may get confused getting answers from agents all across the country.

I will gladly take the time and answer all of your questions about the home buying process soup to nuts.

Carolyn Mosley
Re/Max Affiliates NE
267 971-9373
0 votes
Linda, , Philadelphia, PA
Wed Jul 6, 2011
Hi Jill,
The process is silightly different. The bank will require proof of funds if you are paying cash or a pre-qualification if you need a mortgage.
I have read some of the answers that where posted on here, there are some diffreneces on how the process works.
First like I said, you will need a pre-qualification, or proof of funds if paying for it in cash.
Second, the bank will allow a home inspection, but it is for your information only as the bank usually doesn't make repairs and sells the foreclosure AS IS. Which means what ever is wrong with house, it is up to you to make all and any repairs. Although I have seen some banks make repairs.
The process on the recording of the deeds is taking some time. Anything still available before December of 2010, should have been recorded. Since the sheriff's office went through some changes, all foreclosures have a 90 day waiting period before the deed is recorded. This means some of the foreclosures that went in April are not being recorded until maybe this month.
Some banks will pay for the closing costs as long as you use there title company. The reason for this is because the bank has already started title work on the property, so they can clear up any liens or judgements against the property.
I have been in real estate for about 5 years and I do alot of the foreclosures, selling and buying. If you have any more questions, please feel free to give me a call as I might be able to help answer any more questions you might have.

Keller Williams Real Estate
0 votes
R. Eric Axel…, Agent, Cherry Hill, NJ
Wed Jul 6, 2011
Hi Jill, yes it is the same process. Why do you start at & click on foreclosures. Feel free to email me if you would rather me do it for you out of the MLS (I have slight more search fields). If you email me, make sure to list your must-haves & your would-be-nice-to-haves!

I will reply. If your goal is to get a deal & you don't have a deadline, we could look at short sales too. Good luck & have fun!
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0 votes
Carl Caldas, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Wed Jul 6, 2011
Hi Jill,

Ron Thomas summarized the differences very well. Get in touch if you wish to discuss further pursuing a foreclosure in your area and if it makes sense for you.


Carl Caldas
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0 votes
Lyle Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Wed Jul 6, 2011

You might find this informative:
The 4 Foreclosure Related Real Estate Opportunites.…
0 votes
Scott Wade, , Cherry Hill, NJ
Wed Jul 6, 2011
I recommend using an agent when buyig any real estate. The seller pays the real estate agent so you have nothing to lose nd everything to gain. A good agent will handle any aspects of a purchase for you.
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