Softball, Home Buyer in Pennsylvania

What is the risk of buying a Sheriff Sale property as an real estate investment?

Asked by Softball, Pennsylvania Tue Jul 27, 2010

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Raisa Araya, Agent, DORAL, FL
Tue Jul 27, 2010
I do not think there is any risk as long as you ask the seller to install temporarilly water, electricity and gas which we do here in Miami Florida, and send an inspector. Once you have the inspection done you know if you can proceed with a Title Co. That way you are cover. Good luck
Raisa Araya
Miami New Realty
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Jane Grant, Agent, Aguanga, CA
Tue Jul 27, 2010
Trustee's sale properties are sold "As Is", and since the "seller"m has never occupied the property they are not bound by regular, sale transfer disclosure laws, where the seller has lived in the property and has "knowledge", of the property defects, if any.

Many investors get into the properties and do through inspections by hiring a certified home inspector, this can be difficult if the utilities are not turned on as it is difficult to find plumbing, electrical and gas defects if these services are not working.
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Sharon Sapp, , Temple, PA
Tue Jul 27, 2010
I think Ian hit the nail on the head! Often times the property being sold at a sheriff sale was on the market previously and you may have gone through it at that time. Don't make the mistake of thinking the property is in the same condition as when you first saw it. Remember that the seller(s) are in a financial bind so anything else that would have gone wrong would probably not have been fixed, or if it was, they may not have had the money to pay the contractor. If the latter is the case, the contractor may have put a lien on the property that the new owner would have to pay. Or... taxes may be overdue resulting in a tax lien. Or...they may have had work done previously that they didn't have the money to pay for and that resulted in a lien.... Get the picture? You just never know. Go to the courthouse to do a search and you can drive by the property. That's about all you can do and then take your chances.
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Ian A. Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Tue Jul 27, 2010
There are a few risks. Clear title is one. You may be stuck having to pay liens that are not wiped out in the foreclosure. Inspection is another. Often these homes are privately owned prior to the sale and you do not have the right to inspect as thoroughly as you could when it is listed for sale through and agent or seller directly. To me, those are really the two biggest risks, however they can end up being pretty big if you do not know what you are doing. I believe there are far better ways to obtain a good deal. Having done so myself many times, I might recommend marketing directly to sellers prior to foreclosure or buying them as bank owned. Hope that helps.
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