Why Foreclosed Homes Are Cheaper
The biggest selling point of a foreclosed home is, of course, its marked-down priceoften significantly lower than similar properties in the same area .
Most foreclosures are sold at a sizable discount from , with the exact amount varying from region to region. The seller may offer additional incentives such as a reduced down payment, lower interest rate, or the elimination of appraisal fees and some closing costs.
What makes these properties such a deal? If the residence is in the pre-foreclosure or short-sale stage, its owners are in a financial bind, and time is not on their side. They have to unload the property and get what they can while they can before they lose possession of it.
In short, these sellers arent negotiating from a position of strength and, while it may seem cruel to take advantage of their misfortune, a buyer can benefit.
The buyer can benefit even more if the property has been seized. The sheriffs office isnt interested in hanging onto a house, and banks dont want to be in the landlord business. Financial institutions typically want to rid themselves of foreclosed properties promptly. They need to get a reasonable priceThey have to answer to their investors and auditors. Still, buyers have an edge.
You should know that foreclosed homes are usually sold as is. If theres damage, repairs by the owner arent part of the equationbut, as used-car and vintage furniture aficionados know, as is translates into a discount.
Why Agents Should Focus On Foreclosure & Reo Listings
As real estate agents identify niche markets and client types to focus on, in most cases theyll pick one that is not only lucrative but also has less competition. Focusing on foreclosure and REO listings is less competitive because it requires extra work to obtain listings. However, once obtained, these listings dont typically get reassigned to another listing agent, and the relationships developed can continue to produce leads going forward.
To get foreclosure and REO listings, its important that you understand the market and know the proper steps when dealing with lenders and government agencies. Unlike an average homeowner selling a property, mortgage lenders and government agencies have unique monetary objectives and oversight requirements that must be met.
Risks Of Buying A Foreclosed Home
Don’t let an appealing price tag lead you into home-buying mistakes. There are serious risks involved.
- Expensive repairs: “Most experienced agents will not take first-time homebuyers to foreclosed properties since, often, they are in rough shape and could become money pits,” says Bhatt. Count all the costs before you close a deal.
- A drawn-out buying process: Because you’re dealing directly with a bank, there can be more red tape involved.
- Steep competition: If home prices continue soaring in 2021, foreclosures may become a popular way for buyers to find a deal, leading to increased buyer competition and higher prices.
- Redemption periods: Most states offer a period of redemption after a foreclosure sale. During this period, the original homeowner could still catch up on payments and earn their home back — even after you’ve moved into the house. Redemption periods can range from 30 days to a year, so be sure to check your state’s laws before you buy a foreclosure.
- Squatters: If a property has been abandoned for a while, squatters may be living there. And if they’ve been there for an extended time, you might run into problems. All states have laws that grant squatters rights of adverse possession after a certain period of time meaning the property legally becomes theirs. In some states, this window is as short as five years, but it’s usually longer. Make sure you assess your property thoroughly to avoid any potential squatter disputes.
Read Also: How Many Times Can You File Bankruptcy In Tn
Find A Knowledgeable Foreclosure Agent
If you’re thinking about buying a foreclosed home, choose your real estate agent carefully.
“An agent who knows how the process of buying a foreclosed property works will be very helpful,” says Santosh Bhatt, a broker at Greater Louisville Homes in Kentucky. “Understanding the process allows the agent to manage buyer expectations. An agent with a lack of foreclosure experience can make the transaction a bit challenging.”
Look for agents in areas with high foreclosure rates or ask your lender if they partner with any REO agents. It can also be helpful to search for agents with Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource or Certified Distressed Property Expert certifications.
Is Now A Good Time To Buy A Foreclosed Home
The moratorium on foreclosures due to the COVID-19 pandemic ended on July 31, 2021. Investors predicted a wave of foreclosures when the moratorium ended but so far there is no evidence that has occurred.
People looking to buy foreclosures in today’s market should expect to find a limited supply and competition on most deals.
Recommended Reading: How To Build Credit While In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Real Estate Wholesalers & Attorneys
There are multiple ways to find preforeclosure listings without manually searching through data and properties. Instead of searching through data yourself, you can make valuable connections with specialized professionals who are consistently in contact with preforeclosure leads, like real estate attorneys and wholesalers.
Example real estate wholesaler
Real estate wholesalers are entrepreneurs who advertise to distressed homeowners to buy their home and connect it with a buyer or investor. For example, a wholesaler can find a homeowner in preforeclosure and make an offer at a certain price, depending on comparable properties and the homes condition. Wholesalers create a contract with the homeowner, but dont actually pay the designated amount. Instead, they find a real estate investor to buy the home for a fair price, and the wholesaler keeps the difference.
On the other hand, real estate attorneys are licensed professionals who can work with homeowners in a variety of legal matters. For instance, attorneys are often hired to represent clients who inherit homes that they cant afford. The best way to connect with attorneys and wholesalers is by going to in-person events or making connections through personal and professional friendships. You can also find them online or on social media and connect almost instantly.
How To Buy A Foreclosed Home
You might be intimidated by the thought of buying a foreclosed home. But the process of purchasing a home in foreclosure isnt too different from the traditional way of buying a home. Buying a foreclosure does require additional research, and youll need to be comfortable taking on a bit more risk.
But if you work with a real estate agent who understands your local foreclosure market, the stress shouldnt be much higher than during a traditional home buy.
Here, then, are the steps you need to take in order to successfully buy a foreclosed house.
Read Also: How Do You Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Preforeclosure Leads: 8 Ways To Find Preforeclosure Listings
REVIEWED BY:Gina Baker
Gina is a licensed real estate salesperson, experienced trainer, and former high school educator of 1,000+ learners. She writes for Fit Small Business with a focus on real estate content.
This article is part of a larger series on Real Estate Lead Generation and Marketing.
When homeowners default on their mortgage payments, their property goes into preforeclosure. At this stage, they have a choice to keep the property, sell it, or conduct a short sale. This makes preforeclosures a valuable opportunity for real estate agents to gain a listing or for buyers and investors to purchase a home below market value. To find preforeclosure listings, you can purchase leads, search through the MLS and local directories, or generate referrals.
One of the most effective and time-saving ways to find preforeclosure leads , and expired leads) is with REDX. For $39.99 per month, REDX provides up-to-date preforeclosure property information in your county. It will include difficult to attain homeowner contact information and organize it in a database to give you a head start on the competition.
To start finding preforeclosure homes, try these eight methods:
Make A Competitive Purchase Offer
If the home is in pre-foreclosure, your real estate agent will need to present the offer to the individual who currently owns the home.
If youre looking at a foreclosed home thats headed to auction, youll need to contact the trustee or attorney whos running the auction to ask any questions about the house before the auction takes place.
A trustee is a third party who runs a foreclosure auction on behalf of a lender or government agency. This official accepts the bids during an auction.
If the house is REO, your agent will present your offer directly to the banks listing agent.
A buyers agent will never have direct contact with the bank. The process is similar for government-owned listings: Your real estate agent will again present your offer directly to the government agency listing the home.
You might be tempted to make a low offer on a foreclosed home. Its true that foreclosed properties often sell for less than traditional homes. But if you make an offer thats too far below , the sellers might reject it.
Its important, then, to work with your real estate agent to make a competitive offer. Your agent will advise you on what this figure should be.
You should also include a contingency for a home inspection in your offer. This contingency says that the home sale cant be finalized until youve scheduled a home inspection of the property.
Also Check: Where Do You Go To File Bankruptcy
Working With Real Estate Agents
Not every foreclosure is a bargain, and some can morph into unexpected nightmares. There are drawbacks to buying foreclosures. Still, some foreclosed homes are diamonds waiting to be polished. Inexperienced foreclosure buyers may want to hire a real estate agent for guidance and assistance.
Agents have direct access to tools consumers don’t, such as the Multiple Listing Service , which they use to share information about properties.
You also can ask your buyer’s agent to search for real estate owned by lenders, known as REOs. If you see a listing agent’s name over and over, pull up their profile and look at their listings. You will probably find a ton of foreclosures at your fingertips.
Who Should Not Buy A Foreclosed Home
Shopping for a foreclosed home is time-consuming and frustrating. Finalizing a deal is worse.
If you need a home right away, or you aren’t emotionally prepared to handle repeated disappointments, you probably shouldn’t take this on.
It’s also a bad idea if you’re shopping at the top of your budget. You may well need some extra cash to cover unexpected costs.
Recommended Reading: How To File Bankruptcy Chapter 7 Yourself In Florida
It’s So Simple To Find The Best Real Estate Deals In Your Area With Foreclosurecom: It’s One Easy Search
And that search can be performed at the state, county and city levels even the exact address and/or zip code so that your house hunt hits the ground running. Once you start digging into the incredible foreclosure deals, each listing will be complete with asking price, exact location, number of beds / baths, property type , available photos, tax roll information, helpful neighborhood / school district details and so much more. Indeed, we provide as much information as possible so that you can make the most informed decision possible.
Government Agencies And Other Options
Some government agencies require you to retain the services of a real estate broker to make an offer to purchase. Others will let you submit offers on your own.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides a list of its foreclosure homes.
- The Federal National Mortgage Association lists foreclosure homes through its HomePath website.
- Department of the Treasury lists homes seized by the Internal Revenue Service.
Private-sector sources also are available to find foreclosure homes.
Don’t Miss: What Happens When Business Files Bankruptcy
Find Foreclosures For Sale
Although your real estate agent will likely be able to help you search for foreclosures, you may want to investigate for yourself as well. The internet has made it much easier than it used to be to find foreclosures in your area and in other parts of the U.S. There are now multiple different areas of the web where you can search. Here are three we especially recommend:
- Rocket Homes: This online repository for real estate listings will even tell you what type of foreclosure you are dealing with.
- HUD: This official government website lists foreclosed homes. There will be a real estate agent listed whom your own agent can contact.
- Fannie Mae HomePath®: Here you will be able to search for foreclosure listings by address, ZIP code or MLS number.
- Freddie Mac HomeSteps®: This is Freddie Macs answer to the Fannie Mae foreclosure site, with very similar functionality.
Purchase Your New Home
Read your inspection and appraisal results then decide if the home in question is really right for you and whether youre okay with buying a home as-is. Contact your mortgage lender to finalize your loan if you have the money or skills to make any needed renovations. Your real estate agent will help you submit your offer and prepare you for closing.
Find a local pro.
Don’t Miss: Bankruptcy Lawyer Salt Lake City
If Youre Searching For Foreclosures For Sale For Your Next Home Or To Flip For A Profit These Websites Will Guide You To Foreclosures To Buy
You may remember that foreclosures were a big part of the Great Recession. As the economy cratered, foreclosure filings soared. In the first half of 2010 alone, 1.65 million U.S. homes spun into foreclosure, according to data from ATTOM Data Solutions, a property database provider.
10 years later, will the COVID-19 pandemic lead to a rash of foreclosures? That could spell a lot of hardship, but also an opportunity for investors to flip homes for profit as more American workers switch to full-time remote work, often in less-expensive cities and towns.
Ongoing efforts to ease the pandemic’s economic impact including the CARES Act — have slowed the foreclosure process, particularly for properties where mortgages were federally backed. But that stay doesn’t apply to lenders or servicers of loans not backed by the government .
Buying and flipping foreclosed homes might be a path to consider if you are building a home-selling business.It follows the maxim of buy low, sell high: buy a foreclosed home on the cheap, make the needed improvements, and sell at or above the market value.
Nearly 11,700 American properties received a foreclosure filing default notices, bank repossessions or scheduled auctions in October, up 20% from September. The states with the highest foreclosure rates in October were South Carolina, Nebraska, Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
Get Preapproved For A Mortgage
Unless you buy a home at a foreclosure auction, youll probably get a mortgage to fund your home purchase. Once youve found an agent and you get started looking at homes, youll want to get preapproved for a loan. A preapproval lets you know how much you can get in a home loan. Choose a lender and apply for a mortgage preapproval to narrow your search.
Also Check: Can You Keep Your Car When You File Bankruptcy
Foreclosurecom Updates Its Nationwide Database Of Foreclosure Listings At Least Twice Each Day
Not weekly or monthly like other sites out there. This ensures that we offer prospective homebuyers and investors with the freshest, hottest deals on the Internet. In fact, most of our information comes direct from hundreds of corporate sellers and multiple government agencies so that you can score the deal of a lifetime in some cases foreclosed homes for less than $60,000! Find cheap homes under $60,000. Whether your looking for a single-family home, condo, townhouse, or even searching for mobile homes near you, Foreclosure.com keeps the most up-to-date listings of all property types. The best part about searching Foreclosure.com is that we make the experience so simple that anyone can do it. And if you run into a problem or have questions that aren’t covered in our “Frequently Asked Questions” section, we have a dedicated support staff of actual humans who are knowledgeable and eager to help you achieve your American Dream of affordable homeownership. Call us today … or any day!
- Hot Foreclosure Deals
Tips About The Auction Process
Foreclosure auctions are usually run by a local county representative or a private company. Buying a foreclosure at a real estate auction means learning how the specific in-person auction or auction website works. Here are some tips.
Read Also: How To Boost Credit Score After Bankruptcy