Unfortunately there are many properties in the same condition and state of LIMBO, as I call it. The banks, over the past 5 years, have sold the notes so many times that no one has a clue who the actual holder of the note is. sooner or later, they will find the property in their portfolio and liquidate it. The Capitol Investment Companies have been buying blocks of mortgages for pennies on the dollar, those properties are scattered all over the country, so once they either filter down to where the properties are, the properties will get assigned to an asset manager then an REO Agent and the property will be liquidated. BUT, many times, when they buy the block of loans, they resell them again and again and again, Lord only knows when some of these properties will be liquidated.
Wherever you are, you would be well advised to contact a realtor who knows about foreclosures/short sales. I am in South Florida. I specialize in foreclosures and guide my clients to a value/price that will win them the property. That is why knowledge is so important, if you don';t know how the banks think, you will not make the winning bid for the property.
Contact a Realtor, not the Listing Agent, You need someone who is going to work in YOUR best interests, the Listing Agent is working for the Seller of the property and does not have YOUR best interest at heart.
Tim is right there are 2 different types of "auctions" One is on the "courthouse steps" you need cash by end of business on that day and financing is not possible. In Florida, the majority of these sales are going back to the bank without any investor purchases and they must be in Cash. On the other hand there is the other type of "auction" where the bank has assigned an auction company in lieu of an Asset Manager to dispose of the property, referred to in the industry as "ballroom auctions" "On-line Auctions also, you can have financing on these properties and often there is a mortgage company on site to qualify you and provide the financing. And then there is the 10% premium buyers fee that is added to the top of the auction price.
I can really appreciate your frustration. I do the Broker Price Opinions for the banks (snapshot appraisals) Over 5,000 within the past 4 years. In the beginning the Listing Agents often brought comps with them. NOW, if a Listing Agent does that, I have to report that UNDUE influence was forced on my price opinion. A short sale should not have ANY repairs, the appraisal as well as the sale has to be as is. In the current environment, it is unethical for the Appraiser to accept the comps, and as well the Listing Agent should be advised that this is not acceptable influence. (not illegal)
This is what Realtors are for! A Good Realtor will run the comps, and guide you in making an offer. If your offer is above market value you will not get financing as the appraisal will kill the deal. All this can be avoided whe you use a Knowledgeable Realtor.
Pre-Foreclosure means that a Lis Pendens has been filed on the property and will be put into the Foreclosure process if the the Owner of the property does not bring the mortgage current. You have 2 processes. The states dictate what the process is. It is either Judicial or NON-Judicial. The difference is that in a JUDICIAL state, you have about 12 months before the foreclosure becomes final, in a NON Judicial State, the foreclosure can take place in as little as 90 days, BUT they give the owner of the property 12 months to be able to "redeem" the property, meaning that the owner can come back in and make the mortgage current anytime within the 12 monts.If there is no hope of an owner bringing the mortgage current, it is smart to contact a realtor, such as myself, who specializes in Short Sales to guide them thru the process. This can be a very emotionally charge time for the owners, and they need someone who tells the truth, keeps their Best interests at heart
The banks are giving at least 30/45 days after approval to close a short sale. The process of financing is what has dictated this length of time. With the NEW guidelines it is taking lenders 45 days to process a loan. Be patient. That is one of the problems with a short sale, the buyers get impatient and back out, but if you are patient, you often get a better deal than a foreclosure at the present time in South Florida.
You should be able to access your Property Appraiser website for your county and key in the address and get the "official" square footage, plus an imprint of the home.
Zillow has a different number. Go to Realtor.com I think you should be able to enter an MLS number there, address and get the information you are looking for. I am in South Florida, but Realtor.com should be a good source for you.