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Foreclosures 101: Complete guide to buying foreclosures

Foreclosures 101: Complete guide to buying foreclosures

Buying foreclosure properties can be a frustrating, cutthroat enterprise. The best properties usually have investors circling like vultures. You’re never going to be able to win all your bids, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of being the winning bidder. And get the best price in the process.

The following guide will help arm you with information that can help you along your road to becoming a power buyer:

  • Foreclosures 101: Earnest money - Being creative with earnest money in real estate transactions is one of the most commonly overlooked negotiation points in a contract. Especially for foreclosures, with their battle-weary bank-owners trying to cover their butts. They want assurances. This earnest money acts as a guarantee that if you violate the provisions of the contract and walk away, the […]
  • Foreclosures 101: Dates and timetables - When buying a foreclosure, like all other properties, you need to set a closing date on the contract. When setting this timetable you need to consider what kind of affect the proposed dates will have on your offer. As with any point in a contract, if you put the closing out too far you could hurt […]
  • Foreclosures 101: Financial viability - Almost every offer for a bank-owned property must be accompanied by either a proof of funds or loan preapproval. Offers won’t usually be entertained without one accompanying the contract. With the strict lending market, this is now more important than ever. Banks, and their agents, don’t want to waste their time with buyers who don’t […]
  • Foreclosures 101: Limiting contingencies - If you’re a veteran foreclosure buyer, this one is probably obvious., but a little refresher never hurts. When making an offer on a property, do all you can to limit the number and length of your contingencies. Depending on the property, and your personal taste, you might want to get an inspection of the roof, the […]
  • Foreclosures 101: Offer pricing - When it comes to making an offer on a foreclosure property, many investors often get caught up in the “How low can you go?” mentality. Since banks can more easily absorb a loss on a property, you might be tempted to do nothing but lowball. At times this is the appropriate mentality, but don’t throw […]
  • Foreclosures 101: Persistance - Persistent communication with the seller and listing agent (not assuming anything or taking "no" for an answer) is key to controlling your success when buying foreclosure real estate. Getting your offer accepted and the deal closed is not always an easy mountain to climb.

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Matt Kastner

Matt Kastner is an Investment Real Estate Consultant at St. Louis Real Estate Society in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also develops properties on the side through Threshold Properties. When he isn’t representing investors in the purchase or sale of multifamily properties, rehabs, foreclosures and other income producing properties, he is often taking on rehab projects himself. He lives in South St. Louis and has been in the real estate business since 2004.

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