How to Buy Foreclosures

Notice of ForeclosureConsider buying foreclosed properties if you are looking for real estate bargains. Foreclosure is a legal process in which the insurer or lender repossesses the property from the borrower who defaulted on their loan. Foreclosures are easy to find with just a little work.

Here are nine tips to help you find the best foreclosures:

  1. Find a real estate agent: The first step is to get a reliable and trusted real estate agent. Never try to purchase a foreclosed property by yourself.
  2. Get pre-approved for a loan: If you’re not paying cash, pre-approval is a must. It means you have met with a loan officer and he or she has “pre-approved” you for a certain amount you can afford.
  3. Locate foreclosed properties: You can locate properties scheduled for foreclosure sales by checking classified newspaper ads for listings under Foreclosure Notices, Auction Sales or Sheriff’s Sales. But your real estate agent is your best source!
  4. Check with local lending institutions and government agencies: The FHA (Federal Housing Administration), HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) and local banks are also good places to find information about foreclosed properties.
  5. Inspect: Have the foreclosed property inspected to determine its condition and market value. There may be problems that you and your agent can’t see.
  6. Determine ownership: Identify potential ownership problems and find existing liens by having a title search conducted on the foreclosed property.
  7. Contact the trustee: Contact the trustee of the foreclosure sale to inquire about the minimum bid the lender will accept.
  8. Make an offer: Follow the submission guidelines carefully. Many offers are rejected due to incomplete paperwork or missing signatures.
  9. Obtain Title Insurance: Once you have purchased your foreclosure property, you must purchase title insurance, have the deed signed into your name and transfer the utilities.

Foreclosures can be complicated, so make yourself aware of your state’s legal procedures for acquiring foreclosed properties. Call or email me with any questions.