Profile picture for Lily White

Want to purchase a foreclosed home in Lafayette or Orinda, CA. What is the best way to go about it?

We currently own a home that we want to rent out. Due to Lamorinda's reputable school districts, we'd like to move there. What is the best way to start and how long is the process normally in buying a foreclosed home? Are there certified real estate agents who deals with forelosures? or could any agents handle?
  • April 08 2010 - Orinda
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Answers (11)

I get asked this question alot as I am involved in foreclosure, auction & short sales. So far I have successfully worked with Chase, WaMu, Wells Fargo and BofA. I have also purchased directly on the court house steps. I recommend finding an agent experienced with foreclosures and the local market. Sometimes a regular sale is a better value than a foreclosure and an agent familiar with the area will be able to identfy these properties. Normally foreclosures have deferred maintenance that will cause you unforeseen repair costs. A short sale could take 6 months or longer, an REO will take less time. Also, knowing which short sale program the seller uses is important. For example the new program (HAFA) which came into effect April 1, 2010 has timelines that benefit the borrower. Be sure your agent is up to date on the programs. Hope this helps!  Sincerely, Ann ann@annsullivanrealestate.com 925-330-8214 Coldwell Banker

By the way, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.
  • July 21 2010
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You first would need to see if and how much you qualify for. How much do you have to put down? Not sure if your paying all cash. then you want to get your home on the MLS to be rented out, or you can find your own tenant and not pay commissions. Since you are not selling your home, time is on your side. Buying a foreclosed home is fine, but like others have said, look at everything. Mine as well. After you are qualified you can take your approval and start making offers. Selling agents will always require your approval before making any move. Get in touch with me and i can go over the process in detail and get you a quote.
  • June 11 2010
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First, you need to qualify for the opening bid amount.  The bid amount is usually announced the night before or the day of.  You should bring cashiers checks that add up to at least the opening bid amount.  I usually drive the property a few days before to see if it is occupied and what the general condition is.  I have a good record of getting inside the property as well to see what the condition and upgrades are.

I also run the comparable sales to see how much I want to bid.  i flip foreclosures, so if you are going to live in it, you will have a higher price threshold than me.  Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. [contact info removed by moderator]
  • June 05 2010
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I agree with the other agents, but would ask you, why are you specifically looking for foreclosed properties?  It is true that with some foreclosed homes you can get a "great deal", but there is a lot of risk as well.  Most of the best deals on foreclosed homes are from all cash buyers, because the banks prefer an as-is offer that is as pretty close to as sure thing as possible. Bank Owned homes will not come with seller's disclosures that normally would require that the seller tell you the detailed history about the home. 

Almost all homes for sale will be listed on the MLS (multiple listing service), including foreclosures and short sales.  Just keep an open mind to all of the homes that come along and find an agent that you like and trust.  There are lots of great buying opportunities in Lamorinda.  I'm sure you'll make a great choice.  Best of luck.

Patrice
  • June 04 2010
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Profile picture for Pacita Dimacali

When banks foreclose on properties, they will engage realtors to list these properties on the MLS to get the maximum exposure whereby other realtors can pull up the lists of possibilities for our own buyers.

One of the differences in buying a property that is listed as an REO (real estate owned) or foreclosed, is that the foreclosing bank can deliver clear title. Whereas if you buy at an auction, you may not be able to get title insurance.

Any realtor can help you --- but be sure you use a realtor who is experienced and knowledgeable (doesn't mean the number of years he or she has been in business) who can do the following for you:

1. Research the property ---- how much it sold for last, how much the bank foreclosed on, who the bank is --- all of which arm you with information you can use to write a good offer

2. Determine comps in the area --- just because a property is foreclosed doesn't mean the bank is giving it away. The bank will want as close to market value as possible. Hence, low ball offers may not win

3. Help you strategize how to write a strong offer. If you're in a competitive situation, you should adjust your terms and conditions to position you in a stronger light.

How may I help you?

  • April 14 2010
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Any California licensed broker / agent may assist you.  The commission to your agent will be paid by the seller out of proceeds of the sale.

You might consider looking at foreclosed properties which are not bank owned.  Properties are being bought up at foreclosure sale by investment companies, small businesses and individuals.  These sellers need not answer to investment pools and/or trusts for approval of the sale (that part of the transaction has already been done and the new owner has title).  These sellers typically want to unload the property as quicly as they bought it, so they can move on to the next transaction.  You will get a very good deal this way!

Your broker / agent will gather a list of these properties for you.  Once you have reviewed and selected some options, your broker / agent will research what the home sold for at foreclosure sale.  You can then make an offer based on this information and the asking price.

David Turturici, Attorney at Law / Real Estate Broker
  • April 14 2010
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Stick with REO property if you want to purchase a foreclosure. In-foreclosure property may become a nightmare for you. .... Happy funding, Rudi
  • April 12 2010
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Profile picture for DaveAndersson
You may want to get pre-qualified for a mortgage if you will be financing the home. Try posting a loan request in the Zillow mortgage marketplace.
  • April 11 2010
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Hi Lily,

Any agent should be able to handle short-sales and foreclosures. I have successfully worked with both.

Your desire to invest in the Lamorinda area is a popular choice, specifically for the reason you stated, the schools.

However, the best investments are not always the short-sales or bank-owned properties. Occasionally these properties present a good opportunity. The key to buying right in Lamorinda is to have market knowledge, be ready to act when the property that fits your criteria hits the market, and have a reliable agent to guide you through the process.

Some of the best opportunities are regular sales. If you concentrate only on REO's or short-sales, you might miss out on the best property that fits your desires.

I specialize in the Lamorinda area and am always glad to help.

Bob,
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  • April 11 2010
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Hello Lily,

Pre-foreclosures, REOs and short sales fall under the moniker "foreclosure". Here is a link to a directory of articles explaining the foreclosure process from the perspective of buyers and sellers. 

Agents are not interchangeable. Personal references are almost always favorable. So, in the end, I recommend that after you learn a bit about the process you trouble to interview agents asking as difficult questions as you can and listening for the most through and clear answers. 

Virtually any agent will be happy to refer you to a local agent, I will, there is a referral commission for the agent that provides this service. But... you can certainly do it yourself - probably better because you're invested. I recommend that you do and use the experience to solidify your understanding of the process.

Questions?? 

 
  • April 09 2010
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Pete Sabine 925.385.2340 Tell him Maria Morton from Active Rain sent you.
  • April 08 2010
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