I recently moved from NYC to North Port and now I'm interested in purchasing a 3/2/2 home with pool. Is it better to buy a forclosed home or for sale?

Asked by Michelle Javadi, Tampa, FL Fri Jul 25, 2014

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Diane Christ…, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Sun Aug 10, 2014
When banks have already foreclosed on the properties and placed them for sale, they are typically called bank owned or REOs. REOS are usually listed thru a designated real estate agent and the MLS, so you can go thru your agent to make bids on these listings.

Unless the property has significant condition issues, banks are now pricing their REO listings at or even above current market prices, so they are no longer the bargains they once were.

Buying REOs also provides for some risk to the buyer. While you will probably write your offer on a standard purchase contract form, the banks almost always counter back with their own addendums that change a good portion of the contract terms. They typically do not allow any changes to their counteroffers -- accept their terms or move on to another property. I always recommend to buyers that they should have a real estate attorney look over the bank's terms and make sure they understand those terms before signing. REOs are typically sold "as is." You can have inspections of the property but the bank will not make repairs. You will be required to provide proof of funds up front, when submitting your offer.

You as a buyer should not assume that title to the REO property will be "clean" once the property has passed through foreclosure. While it is true that a foreclosure sale will wipe out subordinate liens and the bulk of any problems caused by former owners of the property, it may not extinguish liens of ad valorem taxes or problems that may have been missed when the previous owner bought the property. Banks typically transfer the properties to buyers through a special warranty deed, which limits their liability. They will give you an insurable title but not necessarily a marketable title - there is a difference. It's in your best interest to have your own real estate attorney review the title work before closing.

Condition of the property is often an issue with REOs as with the auction properties I mentioned above. Lack of utilities (AC) and maintenance do eventually take a toll on FL homes. Some banks have asset management companies come in and "freshen" up the properties, usually with paint and floor coverings and appliances. Other's don't. When buying an REO you will get the opportunity to do inspections during the specified time period to determine if you want to go forward with the purchase or cancel.

There's no rule of thumb on what the bank's bottom line is on price. Just as with any other real-estate purchase, you have to look at the recent sales prices of comparable properties, or "comps." You should look at the comps based on current market conditions and write a competitive offer based on that. Sometimes the bank prices the homes really low, and the home will have multiple offers over list price within hours. Sometimes it's priced too high, and you can make a lower offer. Your agent should be able to provide you with comparable sales before you write up an offer on a REO property.

You may find that one FSBO that is under priced for today's market but those are getting rare as many homeowners access the various real estate web sites to check values and sold comps before pricing their properties. Often FSBOs are that because they have interviewed one or two agents and the owners disagreed with the suggested list prices they were given, thinking their property is worth more than what the agents comps suggest.

In today's market the better deals are often either (1) properties that were overpriced for whatever reason when listed that have now been on the market over 90 days & the owners are now getting anxious or (2) new listings where the sellers are motivated to get a contract and close quickly.

Whatever type of property for sale that you decide to pursue, you should have your financials lined up before starting your home search. If paying cash, you will want a Proof of Funds letter ready to provide with your offer. If getting financing, then you will want a Pre-Approval (not pre-qualification) letter to submit with your offer. This shows you are a serious buyer and are have the financials in order to back up your offer.

Good luck with your home search.


Diane Christner, Realtor, GRI, SFR, CNE
Bright Realty
Sarasota, FL

1 vote
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Jul 26, 2014
It really depends on your budget, preferred location, type of property, condition, etc., be aware that not all foreclosures may be such great bargains, therefore if you are not working with an agent, consider the idea.
1 vote
Steve Parsons, Agent, Salisbury, MD
Fri Jul 25, 2014
With a foreclosure, typically they are sold "as-is" with no warranties or repairs to be made, but when it comes down to it, they are really not that much different than a house that is for sale by anyone else.
1 vote
Info, Home Buyer, North Port, FL
Mon May 25, 2015
I have a residential parcel in North Port (zoned Residential) that you can either build on or buy as a long term investment. If interested, contact me at: info@sgbizservices.com


0 votes
Jim Browning, Agent, North Port, FL
Sat Sep 6, 2014
When buying a home it is this simple. It should be done on a house by house search. I have seen bank owned properties that are in better shape then a regular sale. I would not limit myself by looking at only a foreclosed home, or a regular sale. The best thing is to get out and start your search by just going in to the homes in the area you want to move. Feel free to call me anytime on my cell, or search my web site.

Jim Browning

0 votes
Chad Vogt, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Wed Aug 13, 2014
I would not limit your search to any one particular type of sale. The best thing to do is get a good agent to help you. Real Estate agents don't cost the buyer any money, and can help with determining whether a home is a deal or not. There are deals everywhere, you just have to be looking in the right place at the right time, with a pro in your corner, its a lot easier.

Chad Vogt
Florida Shores Real Estate PA
3579 S Access Rd #L
Englewood FL 34224
Cell: 941-228-4314
0 votes
Michael Jose…, Home Owner, Gulf Breeze, FL
Sun Aug 10, 2014
I'm from NJ and in FL now. Some foreclosures are in decent shape and may be worth it but there are no disclosures so you need a good inspection done. For sale by owner can be overpriced but so are many of those listed by agents. I would check out Zillow and start looking at what is for sale in your area, prices of homes and prior sale prices. Also look at how long homes for sale have been on the market, this is a good indication of either homes being overpriced or the market isn't really selling.
0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Sun Aug 10, 2014
There are no deals in foreclosures. Please see attached link below and do yourself a huge favor and don't even consider them. If you're asking is it better to buy a For Sale by Owner the answer is again no. In general these Sellers are delusional and based on 25 plus years of experience I've never once seen one that wasn't overpriced to start.

What you desperately need is an experienced buyer broker to help you and the good news is it's not going to cost you anything to have someone with experience and who knows the local market help you. Read the following: http://nchomesbylarryt.com/2011/02/07/whos-looking-out-for-w…
Then click on the Find an Agent tab in the green bar at the top of every Trulia page and enter the zip code of the area you want to buy in. You'll get a list of some of the tip agents working in that area and then pick up your phone and start interviewing them till you find someone you feel comfortable with.

Good Luck and Happy House Hunting
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Aug 10, 2014
In my opinion, the best advice anyone could possibly give you is to not limit your search based on these parameters. Base your search on price, location, condition, and floor plan. Taking this approach will provide you with a good cross section of the available market without overlooking possibly good options.

Regardless of which pool of availability you find yourself in, you will likely find that a newer, 3/2/2, pool home, in good condition will be in the neighborhood of $130,000 to $160,000.

Good luck with your search.


0 votes
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Sat Aug 9, 2014
I would look at both types of properties. They will both be similar in price. Are you obtaining a mortgage or paying cash? That may make a difference with some homes. I would be happy to send you some listings to review or you can search for homes on my web site at: http://www.tammyhayes.remaxagent.com/

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
0 votes
Kimberly Gos…, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Aug 3, 2014
It used to be a really good deal to buy a bank owned property, not so much these days. They want just as much as Mr & Ms Jones house who have loved and taken care of their home for years. Short Sales are not short! Who came up with that name? Avoid them. Buying a home is a risky process from anyone, bank, short sale, regular home sale or for sale by owner.
I would be happy to assist you in the process. I live and work in North Port!
Give me a call 941-451-3317
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Jul 26, 2014
IT is best to buy the home that is in the best condition, in the right location that provides everything on your A list and some of your B list for which you and the seller can reach an agreement.

Whether it is a foreclosure or traditional sale is not relevant. Many foreclosed homes have been fully tricked out and are in near new condition.

I would advise avoiding short sales.

Buying a home in FL is significantly different than buying in NY.
Call a North Port REALTOR and request a FLORIDA HOME BUYING GUIDE.
There are FLORIDA concerns of which you MUST be made aware.
Or, give me a call for the guide and a referral.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes
Randy and Vi…, Agent, Punta Gorda, FL
Sat Jul 26, 2014
Hello Michelle,

If you are looking for a home that is ready to move into, needs few or no repairs and the home has not been left vacant for possibly years then you're looking for a conventional sale and NOT a foreclosure. The biggest reason that I suggest a conventional sale over a foreclosure is communication. There is very little communication with the seller when the seller is a bank asset manager.

Many times if you find a bank owned foreclosure home that should sell for $200,000 but it is listed for $175,000 the home will need nearly $25,000 in repairs or the seller is looking to get multiple offers and the home will sell for more than the listed price and usually very close to the current value.

Depending on your price range and budget there are many very nice newer homes in North Port. If you like I'd be happy to send you a list of them directly form my MLS website. It' is much more accurate than anything else you are going to find on the internet because it is being up dated 24/7.

So please feel free to call, text or email me. I'd be glad to help you in your next purchase and my services are free to you as a buyer.
0 votes
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