5 Tips on Buying Home Foreclosures for Real Estate Rookies

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Home foreclosures tempt investors and buyers looking to make a quick buck. But, remember these important tips from Cherylyn Stopler Real Estate so you don’t suffer buyer’s remorse in the long run.

there are many pitfalls first-time buyers need to be aware of when navigating the home foreclosures market

According to Cherylyn Stopler Real Estate, January brought a ray of hope for many U.S. homeowners when home foreclosures dropped by 10 percent compared to December 2009. However, that’s still 15 percent higher than January of the previous year — and Florida remains one of the leading states for home foreclosures.

That means for first-time home buyers and aspiring real estate investors there are still many opportunities to purchase home foreclosures at incredible prices. However, there are many pitfalls first-time buyers need to be aware of when navigating the home foreclosures market.

1. Find a Realtor who specializes in foreclosures. Real estate agents experienced at selling foreclosed and short sale properties, and who work with a variety of banks and mortgage companies who have real estate owned (REO) properties, are an excellent resource for getting the right foreclosure for the right buyer at the best price.

2. Do a title search. If you plan to go it alone, make sure you do your due diligence. A title search will reveal any liens against your prospective foreclosure, such as if a second mortgage was taken out against it or whether other debtors are lying in wait. If you use a Realtor, make sure they’ve also done this groundwork for you.

3. Seek the assistance of a real estate auctioneer. These open-cry auctions (meaning you shout out your bids) are proven methods of buying real estate. Foreclosed properties sold at auction are routinely offered by banks or mortgage companies after the foreclosure process is complete. An experienced licensed auctioneer, can help a first-time homebuyer, an experienced homeowner, or an investor make sense of the real estate auction process and gain a significant advantage in the realty market.

4. Have a renovation fund ready. In many cases, foreclosed homes may not be in the best condition. Sometimes it’s due to owners not being able to afford to maintain the home; or, at the worse, disgruntled home owners may damage the property before they’re forced to leave. If you’re planning on buying home foreclosures, you should have enough funds in reserve to tackle any necessary repairs or upgrades.

5. Know your market. The bank’s asking prices for a foreclosed home isn’t always final. There can be room for negotiation. Compare what similar home foreclosures in your desired neighborhood are selling for and set your bid accordingly. Remember, however, that competition for home foreclosures is stiff, so make your best possible offer or that sweet real estate deal may slip away.

About Cherylyn Stopler
Cherylyn Stopler has been a million/multimillion dollar Pensacola real estate professional for 24 years, using her expertise to assist individuals and families to purchase or sell homes, and to invest in Pensacola foreclosures, residential properties, and commercial properties. Her professional designations include Broker-Associate, Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and licensed Auctioneer.

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