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Going to Public Trustee Auctions?

Are these auctions open to the public or only realtors? How does one find out where & when they are held? If I'm a cash buyer what do I need to bring in order to bid? What is the safest way to checkout possible legal issues the property might have?  Thanks
  • January 24 2014 - McKinney
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Answers (8)

Cosmetic? Who said "cosmetic?" I'm saying, mold-ridden, structurally unsound with ridiculously stupid floor plans!!!

  • January 24 2014
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Probably few realtors at the auctions.
They are open to the public.
Each trustee does their own auctions.
1st Tuesday of the month INCLUDING holidays.
You need to bring cashiers checks to buy in various denominations.
You need to do the title work before you bid.
Remember most of these you will not be able to see before you bid on the inside.
Remember probably 90% of the properties at auction get bought back by the lender, then resold as what we call REO.
Based on your questions, my thought for you would be to focus not on the auctions, but on the resales from the lender, HUD, Fannie Mae, etc.   They mostly get listed back in the MLS for you to buy.
  • January 24 2014
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Thank you all for your time & help. I do plan to attend a couple of auctions to see how they 'flow'. I'll also find out how much title reports are. I would probably have 2 or 3 possible properties at each auction that I would be happy with so if the bid went too high on one then I'll not be as tempted to over bid not to loose one. I guess I'll have to drive by the properties at different times to see if they are being occupied. I'm not looking for 'move-in-ready' homes so cosmetic issues isn't a big concern but liens, HOA dues or eviction problems are.
  • January 24 2014
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Now that you're aware of some things to be aware of ;) here's a few things you may wish to check out and/or think about

Public Records...yes they exist and the word Public is not there just for decoration
Access & use can vary greatly State to State and even County to County so use your resources/tools to check them out

A good tool is using a Public Records Directory, there are a number of them, they are free to use and here is one just so ya can check it out...Free Public Records Directory

You'll see links to the right when ya get there to help you search State to State and County to County ect...All links are to the State/County websites where you can find info
Example...Foreclosures and Tax Lien Sales (Pick a State)

Let's say ya click on Texas...you'll find Links to all the info provided by each county
Example..Collin County
Tax Sales and Tax Resales
"View Collin County information about property tax sales, property tax resales and struck off property."

Go..check it out (More links/info/resources provided)

You say you have cash so consider having Title Searches done (checking for liens/ownership ect.)
Price of doing serious business so get out and about...talk to a Title company

I'm certainly no expert on how things are done in Texas but the tools (Title company/Attorneys ect) are there so make use of them, ask questions, attend some sales/auctions...
BECOME AS KNOWLEDGEABLE AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE MARKET AREA YOU ARE INTERESTED IN AND THE PROCESS YOU'LL NEED TO USE TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL


Check stuff out then decide if you wish to pursue this further
Just remember...This is business so WALK do not RUN

Best of Luck whatever you decide

  • January 24 2014
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Auctions in the state of Washington are open to the public. Ask at the courthouse. Ours are every Friday morning at 10am on the courthouse steps. Cash buyers must bring cash or a cashiers check for the max amount they're going to bid (whatever you don't spend, you'll get back). Title reports are the safest way to check out liens on the property. For other legal issues. . . you can start by asking the neighbors. They're a great source of information about local assessments and the history of the house. Finally, if the house happens to be listed for sale, you can have an agent take you in to check it out ahead of time.
You should definitely go to a couple of auctions to get a feel for the process before you think about bidding. and I agree with the other responses you've received. . . it is a VERY RISKY venture to purchase homes this way.

  • January 24 2014
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I've known agents that have accompanied their clients to auctions and have had buyers pay them for it.

There is no way to protect yourself completely against the unknown that comes from buying at auction on the courthouse steps. You really need to know the market, down to the block (or building, in the case of a condo), where the property is located. And, you have to be prepared to take on a property that has likely been vacant (and unheated) for anywhere from a few months to a couple or three years, or is occupied by people who aren't eager to leave.

  • January 24 2014
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Thanks for the info... It is the 'hidden' expenses that are attached with the property that is my biggest concern. How to find out what debts go along with the property is my main concern. They must be public record somewhere.
  • January 24 2014
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Realtors have nothing at all to do with foreclosure auctions. Realtors only sell property where a seller will pay a commission. Auctions do not pay commissions and so Realtors have nothing to do with them. To buy at these auctions you need cash, no loans. You also will be buying all debts on the property and unless you do a title search you won't know if there are any or not and how much they are. You also don't get to inspect a house. These auctions are really not for beginners unless you have very deep pockets and can afford to lose money and lots of it.
Often the bank bids what is owed them and that is usually more than the house is currently worth, so would you want to out bid them?

  • January 24 2014
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