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Tips to Buying a Foreclosure

From my experience, the buyers I have dealt with along with listening to homeowners show that buying a foreclosure is still something that everyone needs to be educated on.  I have heard it all.  Buyers want to buy a foreclosure because they think they can get an incredible deal, but still want the home in move-in condition.  They’re not willing to put any work into the home.  On the other-hand, homeowners despise foreclosures because they’re driving down the value of their home.  They think that those that foreclose on their home should be penalized heavily.

It’s not fair to scrutinize homeowners who foreclose because everyone has their own problems.  The buyers out there have a different idea of what a foreclosure actually entails.  Some of the homes are move-in condition, but a majority need a lot of work.    Here are some tips to consider when tackling a foreclosure:

  1. Choose an agent who has access to foreclosure information – Many buyers out there think that all agents have access to foreclosure listings.  It’s very important to ask if they work directly with any banks.
  2. Foreclosures typically close faster than short sales – Short sales can be bargains, but there is no guarantee that those properties will close.  Most of the time if they do end up closing, it will take longer than the typical transaction.
  3. Don’t always offer the list price – Don’t assume that the bank won’t accept a lower price than what is listed.  The asset managers have margins they have to meet and often will settle for offers lower than the list price.
  4. Ask for closing costs help – It doesn’t hurt to ask.  You’d be surprised that some banks are generous and very accommodating.
  5. Get pre-approved from the right bank – This is very important and can ruin an entire deal if you don’t do the right thing from the start. It’s always helpful to use a lender from the same bank as the foreclosure.  Most of the time you have to do this anyway, but sometimes it can tip the scales in your favor too.

Foreclosures in Loudoun County:

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