What is the process for buying a foreclosed home?

Asked by Amanda Clifford, Miami-dade County, FL Fri Feb 15, 2013

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Jessica Bateman’s answer
Jessica Bate…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Mon Feb 18, 2013
Pre Approval letter let's you put in your offer. Go to thelendersnetwork.com I send all my clients there - they can tell you everything you need to know about different mortgage loans, and cover the scenarios of each option. You need to talk to someone well versed in all the issues you have. Fill out their app form and request to speak to Randall Yates he is the President and good friend of mine.

Good Luck!

0 votes
Carlymeo, Home Seller, Fremont, CA
Mon Feb 8, 2016
In Florida, the primary method of mortgage foreclosure is judicial. Because of this, it could take six (6) months or more from the time a property owner receives a notice of default until the property is sold at a public foreclosure auction sale. Accordingly, don't wait until the property becomes Real Estate Owned (REO) after the auction because the property will cost more than it would in preforeclosure.

A deficiency judgment is available to a lender if a property in foreclosure is sold at a public foreclosure auction sale for less than the loan amount that the underlying mortgage secures.

Basic steps for you to consider during the preforeclosure purchase process: http://foreclosureprocess.net/home-buying-and-selling

*Contact the owner directly
*Contact a broker or agent
*Contact the listing agent
6 votes
Hannamiaa, Home Buyer, Fremont, CA
Sat Aug 22, 2015
I specialize in foreclosed properties in Florida and actually I find the process easier than buying a home from an owner as there is typically less emotion involved and the bank / lender / fannie mae, etc, have no attachment to the property it is merely a financial transaction and every situation or issue that arises can usually be easily resolved. They typically do have pretty detailed addendums for you to sign but they basically are just protecting themselves and giving them an out if they are unable or unwilling to resolve an issue. Whatever you do ask your Realtor how many foreclosures they have closed and make sure you are working with someone that is experienced in that area.
4 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Sat Feb 16, 2013
Hi Amanda,

Once a house is "foreclosed" and owned by the lender then they will normally assign the property to an asset manager who will then list the property with a local Realtor. It will appear on the Realtor MLS system for all to bid on. Some properties in bad condition may restrict buyers to ALL CASH. Some properties will restrict buyers to owner-occupants only for the first week to two weeks.

Before a property is "foreclosed" it will be offered at auction to the highest cash bidder at the county courthouse (probably online auction). Most properties have a first mortgage higher than the property is worth so unless the lender allows it to sell below the judgment amount it will go back to the lender and then get listed for sale by a Realtor.

If you cannot pay ALL CASH you will be at a severe disadvantage for most REO properties. If you are buying to occupy as your primary residence you may want to focus on http://www.HomePath.com http://www.HomeSteps.com and http://www.HudHomestore.com listings because investors cannot bid against you for the first week or two or even a month (HUD).

You absolutely need to find a Realtor to help because the best deals will go fast.

All the best,
Alma Kee
1 vote
Agi Anderson, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Fri Dec 18, 2015
The process varies with each transaction. I suggest you have a knowledgeable agent if you're planning to buy a bank owned property. I do not work the Miami area, but I do have resources in my network. You can not purchase a foreclosure with traditional financing, not even with a conventional loan. There are special financing programs that provide funds to purchase the property and then funds after closing to rehab. Buyers of course must qualify for financing. Also, most of the foreclosure websites charge an additional processing fee at closing. You can request my guide Avoid 7 Costly Mistakes Buying Foreclosures at http://www.RehabForeclosures.com Good luck!
0 votes
Rochell Cruz, , Anaheim, CA
Wed Dec 16, 2015
it depends upon the state that you are buying it in. you should definitely check with a realtor, or the city office about the real estate laws. hawaii has a different process of purchasing a foreclosure property, and you may or may not be able to purchase a home for an extremely low price.
0 votes
Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Thu Oct 15, 2015
Hello Amanda,

When buying a foreclosed home, a buyer waves a lot of rights as bank's addenda to contract effectively removes such rights. Even though you can do the inspection and check building and zoning departments' info on open/expired permits and on liens (in public records), there are usually building code and zoning violations - so, buying a house with those, you buy them with it.

Foreclosed homes are purchased cash. Getting a mortgage is more difficult for a foreclosed home -
banks are not forgiving sellers, and the buyer might loose their escrow funds, if not careful.
Often, banks require 10% money to be held in escrow, so it's a lot of money on the line.

In terms of benefitting from the lower price that foreclosures are known for - at this time, most foreclosures are priced at the market level, and only properties that stayed on the market a few months might get a price reduction or bank's agreement to accept a lower offer.

Different banks have different requirements re. offer submissions. The submission packages need to be done completely and correctly, so that they are not overlooked.

Before buying a foreclosed home, have your agent do an extensive market comparison, so that you do not overpay.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes
Maricar906, Home Buyer, Miami, FL
Mon Oct 12, 2015
Find a real estate broker who works directly with banks that own foreclosed homes and get a preapproval from a lender. Know how long it takes to sell a home in your price bracket. Study the sale prices of comparable homes in your area.

0 votes
Brooke Snader, Agent, Wellington, FL
Thu Jun 26, 2014
OK, so to answer your question about foreclosures. The only way to get a true foreclosure property is to bid on it at a county auction. Most of the times the properties are given back to the bank (who was defaulted on their loan) who then resell the properties.

The Bank Owned Properties are called REO.

Dealing with these reo properties can be somewhat frustrating and time consuming. That being said, sometimes the wait can be worth it, if you are not in a rush.
0 votes
Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Sat Feb 16, 2013
Think about it, who knows better than a Mortgage Broker?

…”Oh, I have a 1200 credit score, I won’t have a problem getting a loan”….”I’ve bought 23 properties and never had a problem getting a loan in the past (YEAH RIGHT, MAYBE PRIOR TO 2006)… ”I’m self-employed and I made over $300,000 last year”…”Oh, don’t worry, I was approved ONLINE last year with B of A”

When any Realtor or Mortgage Broker hears all this from buyers/Borrowers here’s what they’re thinking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37OWL7AzvHo

Experience Realtors (Buyer’s Agents and Listing Agents) have heard all this (what comes out of the south end of a north bound bull) a million times from buyers who untimely couldn’t close because they couldn’t get a loan in 2012 and 2013! So invest the 15 to 30 minutes it takes to fill out a Loan Application and obtain a LEGIT pre-approval letter. The Mortgage Loan is not some trivial formality these days, without the loan, YOU DON’T CLOSE….PERIOD!!!

Enough with the ridiculously weak $1000 deposit written on an offer contract and sent to the seller thing! Fact is, $1000 is a JOKE these days! Heck, why not just write $100.00? If you want your offer to stand out from all the rest, deposit at least $5,000 or 5% of the offer price in a Title Company’s Escrow account and have them give you an Escrow Letter


Now, you have your Legit Pre-Approval Letter, your Escrow Letter and ready to enter this 2013 Florida real estate market/Combat Zone!

But unlike 90% of your competition who are entering the battle on a Three Legged Donkey, Swinging a Butter Knife with a Bag of Rocks, you’re riding into the battle in an Abrams Tank with night vision and Laser guided Armor piercing rounds to fire down range! You are the next best thing to a Cash Buyer!

Now you are ready to weed thru what seems to be a million realtors to find the best one for you. NOBODY KNOWS REALTORS BETTER THAN A MORTGAGE BROKER! As a Mortgage Broker who has been doing loans all over the state of Florida since the 90s, I know realtors better than most and I know a lot of them too!

Contact me and I’ll get you Pre Approved and put you in touch with a realtor who I know will help you locate and negotiate your best deal on a home.

Steve McRory
Pro Option Mortgage/ Florida
Ph: 888 662 4404

Prior Service U.S. Marine Corps
0 votes
You tell them Steve
Flag Mon Feb 25, 2013
The question was made out of Miami Dade County, I wish the process was that easy LOL.
Flag Sat Feb 16, 2013
Yanoska Diaz, Agent, Miami, FL
Fri Feb 15, 2013
The process of buying a foreclosed home is as simple as requesting the assistance of a Real Estate Professional that often deals with this type of transactions.

Buying a Bank Owned property can be quite different than purchasing from a standard Seller. In addition every Bank or Institution offers different terms, conditions, they follow different marketing strategies and even those can be different for any given property.

Bank owned properties are typically sold as-is, where is, with all faults, no warranties of any kind as to the condition or functionality of the property are made by the Seller.

Bank owned properties require in addition to the standard as-is sale contract, special addenda drafted by the Institution. These additional terms are usually not subject to counter.

From showing, to offers, to inspections period, to closing a Buyer will find a lot less flexibility when buying a foreclosed home.
0 votes
Ania Lenzhol…, , Miami, FL
Fri Feb 15, 2013
Hi Amanda,

On a foreclosed home, the bank is the seller and the bank typically dictates the process. So it depends on the bank, really.

However, the process is typically not too different from a conventional sale. Only things may take a little longer since there is no seller, but a bank officer and their attorneys working on the case and it might not be the only file on their desk.

Also, keep in mind, that foreclosed properties can be in "not so good" shape, due to a previous owner that trashed the place - or simply due to the fact that the property was uninhabited for quite a while. (It takes time for the banks to process a foreclosure before it comes on the market!) This can be a problem in South Florida with it's high level of humidity. So make sure to inspect the home thoroughly and check if there are any liens on the property, too.

If you are putting an offer on a foreclosed home, make sure to put your "highest and best" right away. It is very likely, that the bank will get multiple offers and they won't get back to each and every potential buyer to negotiate back and forth.

Banks (and the Realtors who work for them) are well aware of the current market situation, so do not expect a bargain. If it looks like a bargain, its very likely that it needs a lot of work or there are liens that must be paid off on top of the sales price.

It's a good idea to work with an experienced local Realtor who can guide you through the process step by step!

I hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck!

Kind regards,
Ania Lenzholzer
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
0 votes
Meg Sahdala, Agent, Coral Gables, FL
Fri Feb 15, 2013
Amanda, I am not sure you know that real estate services are free for buyers. It is always good to have a professional on top of things, specifically when you are buying a distressed property.
I will be happy to assist you please contact me at your convenience.

Meg Sahdala
Vivienda Realty
0 votes
Andre Shambl…, Agent, Miami, FL
Fri Feb 15, 2013
The process is fairly simple...more or less the same as buying a regular home except for maybe a few added steps. Give me a call if you need assistance.

Andre Shambley
0 votes
Ann Ryan, Agent, Doral, FL
Fri Feb 15, 2013
1) Begin with doing your due dilligence:
A) what is the condition of the home?
B) Are there any outstanding liens?

2) Review the comparables and determine a fair price for the home. Remember, you need to buy a foreclosure at a significant discount to justify the additional risks.

3) Identify and secure your funding

4) Put in an offer.
0 votes
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