I think I understand your question! Here are some tips I recommend to my buyers. In the MLS look for properties on the market for 60+ days, vacant (in our area over a 1/3 of all of our listings are vacant!), with a history of price reductions as recorded in the MLS. Any competent Realtor/agent should have access to this information. You also may wish to determine the equity in the property at the same time. A seller who bought in our area 3 years ago has minimal equity. A low-ball offer may run head-on into a short sale. Those with equity may wish to make you a great deal as they are most likely moving to an area where prices are a heckuva lot cheaper than our area. This may not hold up across the nation but still applies for negotiating purposes If the property is investor owned AND a short-sale this might be a total waste of time as lenders are looking to help homeowners and investor's are not getting looked at in our market. A "Short-Sale" situation can be a long, lengthy process which can end in NO DEAL when the day is done. But if you have patience and cash in this market some great deals can be had. I'd wait though. A representative of Data Quick( www.dataquick.com) , a company which tracks foreclosures nationwide, stated in December 50 Billion in loans will be
"recast" and another $150 Billion will be "recast" in March/April. These are primarily the 2/28's or 3/27 loans with low teaser rates. Countrywide did a major portion of these loans and Countrywide does 46% of all their loans in California. So I'm anticipating another "wave" of short-sales, foreclosures, "have to sell" properties in the months to come. What effect this will have on the California and nationwide market is yet to be seen.