Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Home buyers, no one said this was easy


We used to call people who scooped up foreclosures bottomfeeders, but now almost every house you may want to buy may be bank-owned, as they put it out here in Arizona.

Most houses are bank-owned…We just pay to live in them.

But I digress.

Ellen James Martin, AZ Republic, May 1, 2011, says if you want to buy a foreclosure or short sale, you need to do some homework.

You will be negotiating—to the extent this is possible—with the bank. You need info.

First find comparable sales in your area—the famous comps, as they are called.

Start with 10, says realtor Eve Alexander (www.naeba.org). Go to the five best. Look at comparable square footage, number of bedrooms, size of garage.

Decide what to bid—if you are going really low, attach a nice, friendly letter explaining your reasons and the information you have.

Try to learn about the seller’s situation—in other words, how desperate they are (short sale.) See when they bought, what they paid.

Have your buyer’s agent ask questions. Sometimes listing agents will say the seller is motivated. They like that word—motivated. They might also blab..it’s a divorce. Or, he was transferred and they have two mortgages now.

See if other offers have been rejected. Those sellers might be market testers—and they may reject you, too, or waste your time.

I also have seen on the real estate shows that short sales and foreclosures take ages to close—months. Be prepared for the waiting game. And banks don’t like to fix things—you will get to do that yourself.

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