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Is it possible to pay cash to agent handling foreclosure at their list price and skip the bank?

I have found a home in foreclosure that is very, very within my cash means, right now. I want to purchase the house outright from the realtor handling it. What do I do? And HOW do I do it? I am a first time home buyer.
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August 08 2009 - Columbus
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Answers (3)

With all due respect to Michael's answer, using your own agent is no assurance of getting a good deal. Remember that buyer's agents are very much responsible for the over paying frenzy just a couple of years ago. As a first time buyers, there are many unknowns to buying real estate and you should try to be familiar with all the potential pitfalls. I am not fully familiar with your state laws regarding agency relationships, but as long as you are not "un-represented" you will receive limited guidance on the transaction, generally along the lines of what you need to do and when. Even though you are a cash buyer, in this market unless you were absolutely certain you were getting a deal that will hold it's value for at least a year, I would include an appraisal contingency that at least states the house must by appraised by an appraiser of your choice for at least the selling price. It's a small price to pay to have an independant set of eyes. Hire your own, without the realtor's guidance. Also, inspect the heck out of the property.
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August 09 2009
Hi Kitty Cat,

If you're looking at a pre-foreclosure, short sale, the listing price may not even be possible.  In Tampa I see many short sales with unrealistically low asking prices that will NEVER be acceptable by the lender at full price.  A lender will get an appraisal (or BPO) to determine the current market value for the house.  If your offer is within a certain range and the seller meets the criteria to allow a short sale, you  may be able to buy that house.  You will not be able to buy a house for half price on a short sale, unless you engage in fraud and claim there are significant structural defects when there actually aren't any. I've seen this happen, too.  It's disgusting and highly unethical and I wouldn't be a party to that type of transaction.  Eventually the Feds are going to go after these shysters. 

The Realtor listing the property for sale is not the decision maker.  It is the current owner who will decide who can buy the house and the that owner's lender must approve the sale price. Of course Realtors will influence Sellers and in some cases may already have a "hand picked" investor they are planning to sell to and are fraudulently keeping the house listed in "active" status to find a buyer to "flip" the property to after they get the bank to accept less than it is truly worth. You can go and make a cash offer directly to the listing agent but just be careful to do your due diligence.  Also some lenders will not pay a listing agent additional commissions if they represent both the buyer and seller so there may be no incentive to the listing agent to waste their time writing an offer for you!

In Tampa the best deals are the ones that are NOT short sales but are owned by the bank/lender.  You  must have an active realtor helping you on those deals because unless you're out to see the property the first day it comes on the market, you will very likely be too late to make an offer.  And forget about contacting the listing agent, by the time they return your call, it will likely be already under contract.

Hope this helps you.

Alma
Alma Rose Kee, P.A.
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc,
813.244.9898
www.SoldOnTampa.com
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August 09 2009
You can certainly buy any house for cash. I would still find an agent to handle your end of the transaction rather than use the listing agent. That's the best way to ensure your getting a good deal on the property.

And get it inspected.
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August 08 2009
 
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