Is this property still available?

Asked by Lindsey, Corpus Christi, TX Mon Sep 17, 2012

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Al Geffon, Agent, Houston, TX
Thu Sep 20, 2012
This is a Cliff Notes version of a notice posted by RealtyTrac, a reporting service specializing in foreclosures and other financially distressed properties. It is not a listing ... in fact, the home probably isn’t even on the market. It could be offered for sale at some later date, or may have already been sold … but what you see right now is essentially a notification of default ... nothing more.

RealtyTrac doesn’t actually sell houses, but simply compiles data from several sources, all of it public information. To learn more about a home (the exact address, for example … it’s intentionally omitted) you’d have to subscribe to the service, although I see no advantage in doing so. The likelihood of purchasing a property based on a RealtyTrac notice is near zero … and while these postings do serve a purpose for those following market trends, they have little or no value to anyone looking for a home at this time.

As for that very attractive “transfer value” number … no, it’s not the price (as RealtyTrac would like for you to assume), but rather the outstanding balance on the mortgage, which would explain why it’s so exact. There is absolutely no connection between that figure and what the property would sell for if it ever came on the market ... it’s not even close. If it were possible to purchase such a home for so little money, I’d be first in line, checkbook in hand … and while it’s certainly understandable to be attracted to a potential bargain, if it looks too good to be true ….

Here’s some information I hope will prove useful (Foreclosures 101, if you will): It’s a common misconception that these properties can be purchased for pennies on the dollar. If such were the case, those buyers privy to inside information would be gobbling them up before they even hit the market. While they might be aggressively priced to begin with, such a strategy is aimed at attracting attention to the listing, and hopefully raising the stakes through a “bidding war.” In so many instances, foreclosures end up selling for more than the original asking price, and closer to market value. Just about all of them need considerable work, well beyond cosmetic improvements. In a nutshell, they’re primarily suited for investors with deep pockets. I work with several, and see firsthand what these places go for, and how much it takes to get them into market-ready condition ... believe me, it’s pretty serious money.

The terms of sale alone should be sufficient to drive most buyers away … “as-is, where-is, with all faults and defects.” Bottom line: it’s yours as it sits. In most cases, there’s an opportunity to inspect the property, but only after a contract is signed … and since the homes are generally in pretty rough condition, it’s imperative to have all major components checked by experts: roof; foundation; under-slab plumbing; structural integrity; electrical; HVAC; drainage; insect/rodent infestation, etc. The cost of the inspections is totally on the buyer, and none of it is reimbursable, even if the transaction fails to close. Further, in virtually no instance will the lienholder make any allowances for repairs … “as-is, where-is” pretty much sums it up.

Ironically, after all is said and done, you can likely purchase a great home in much better condition for about the same money … possibly less, considering what you’d have to spend to get one of those places into shape. I’ve had several such scenarios play out over my years in real estate. It will be my pleasure to work with you toward finding the home that best suits your family’s needs. My services and expertise come at no cost to you as a buyer.

I trust that this helps. If I may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards …

Al Geffon
(713) 213-6350
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Persis Behra…, Agent, Cinco Ranch, TX
Mon Sep 17, 2012
Hi Lindsey, this property listed by RealtyTrac provides just a little information so they get customers to call them. You generally have to register to see what they actually have to offer. They may or may not have this property when you call them. If it is available for the price they list, their own agent may be able to give you information. They do not allow agents not associated with their company to get this information. You can try and register if you like. If you are interested in foreclosure properties other than those listed with RealtyTrac, I can give you details. Feel free to call or email with specifics about what you are looking for and what your budget is, so I can gear a specific search for you and this is at no charge for you. I will give you an overview of how a transaction is processed as well so you can make an informed decision.
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Alison Hillm…, , San Francisco, CA
Mon Sep 17, 2012
Hi Lindsey-

The foreclosure listing at… is provided from Realty Trac so we can't confirm if it is still available or not.

All foreclosure listings are provided by RealtyTrac and display basic foreclosure information. In order to view full foreclosure details, users must register with RealtyTrac. RealtyTrac offers a 7 day free trial, but charges a subscription fee after the initial trial period.

Ali, Community Manager
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