You also don't mention if you have your own agent or if you are working with listing agents only. If you do not have your own agent, you need one. I also recommend that you focus on the home you want, rather than its status as short sale, foreclosure or regular sale. There are plenty of bargains out there that aren't foreclosures. Best of luck!
Did you ever check back on the properties you bid on to see if they closed? If you are working with an agent, your agent could and should let you know what those properties sold for and compare it to your bid. In many of the MLS's it will state in the Closing/Sale remarks, how the property sold, the type of financing used to purchase the home. If you haven't checked on those, you should.
Also, I am now noting that you are also a Seller. Is your new home purchase contingent on selling your home? If it is, this is probably the number 1 reason you are not getting an accepted offer. On Most, if not all foreclosures, the buyer has to be ready to go. No Contingencies. You Have to be Pre-Approved and a letter of your approval is usually NEEDED at the time you submit your offer to the listing realtor or bank. If you don't have these, it doesn't matter what you bid. In the foreclosures banks eyes, you are not a ready, willing and able buyer.
It is possible that there could be some "insider trading" going on but more likely is that the person at the bank only picks up the file when there is sufficent activity on the file to make then pay attention. Keep in mind the banks are so overwhelmed with short sales, foreclosures, loan modifications and keeping up with the every changing rules for loans.
If you are dealing with an experienced Realtor then they can help guide you through this new land. If you are trying to do this on your own then buyer beware! There are many things that can happen in these transactions that can cause a buyer problems - expensive problems.
Have you looked at non-foreclosure homes? There are tons of great deals out there and they would be much less frustrating!
Big Land & Homes
Certified Short Sale Specialist, Certified Short Sale Negotiator
I understand how frustrating it is. Many times I try to explain the reality of the current market in the area to my clients and many times the don't believe me until the see it and experience it for themselfs.
What you really need to look for is not necessarily the total days on the market, but many times the days on the market at that price (or since the last price reduction). That might be triggering the bids, and not inside information. It is also probable that some or all of those did already have bids on them when you placed the offer, and you were not the first one or the trigger. It is not rare on this market for the banks to keep the property active for a while after receiving their first offer to collect bids.
Like you also said it is also very common for these properties to go for over asking price. To design your offer you will have to do a good work with the comparables, and also have as much information as possible about the seller (which bank it is), days on the market at that price, total days on the market. How you design your offer in terms of concession, etc. is also very important.
I hope that your agent is very experienced in foreclosures. They require a completely different set of skill. In order to be succesful with a bid, you will need to gather and analyze more informaiton than on a normal sale.
Carlos J Ramirez, PC, ABR, CNE
Associate Broker, HomeSmart -