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Buying government foreclosures or bank foreclosures: basics

Foreclosed homes are regularly set on the market by the two major home lenders: government agencies and banks. Be they government foreclosures or bank foreclosures, what matters most is that they can be purchased at expenses lower than their real market value. This is why homebuyers or investors generally are in haste as soon as a reliable foreclosure opportunity is listed. After having investigated the real estate market and its potentialities, homebuyers must move quickly if they want to grasp this temporary chance. In what follows we will see some of the basics and advantages of opting either for government foreclosures or for bank foreclosures.

The most popular government agencies that frequently market foreclosure properties are as follows: 1) the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (you are probably already familiar with HUD foreclosed homes); 2) the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (for the well-known VA foreclosures); 3) local agencies of taxation; 4) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC – the department dealing with foreclosure sales); 5) the Internal Revenue Service (IRS – once again the segment dealing with foreclosures). However, the market of government foreclosures is led by HUD foreclosures and VA foreclosures.

In any case, the point is that with government foreclosures one of the above mentioned government agencies is holder of the property’s title. As a rule, they will place any foreclosed property at auction. The buyer’s advantages are basically drawn from bidding opportunities generated by auction circumstances: the potential buyer’s chance to set a limit for the house value, the certainty over the time interval spent to acquire a property, the possibility to evade prolonged negotiations with the former homeowner. As with any auction, government foreclosures are purchased if the bidder’s offer is appropriate. Also, your involvement in government foreclosures auctions needs to be mediated by a certified real estate agent who is regularly rewarded a 6% bonus for having successfully sold the property. The real estate agent’s indemnity is an additional figure to the sum you place as a bid.

To what concerns bank foreclosures, there are three major ways of purchasing such properties. One of them is in pre-foreclosures. In this case, you will need to act promptly, because there is actually very little time up until a property in a pre-foreclosed stage is transferred to foreclosure terms. So before properties actually become bank foreclosures, the active, smart homebuyer/investor – who has previously undergone a serious investigation of an area’s real estate market – will know to move in the direction of negotiating directly with the distressed homeowners. If pre-foreclosure attempts fail, the next step is an auction.

With bank foreclosures, the auction is required by the banks whose lends haven’t been acquitted on time. In such circumstances, the homebuyer/investor could try to overpass the bank’s bidding offers. Yes, the bank will also bid in such auctions, interested in stepping further along the process of profitably selling foreclosures. If the auction is won by the bank, the property becomes an REO (real estate owned) foreclosure property. This is the third way in which you could purchase bank foreclosures. When you are interested in REOs, you will negotiate directly with the bank. The main advantage of the potential homebuyer/home investor is that this is the most certain manner (and one of the fastest) of acquiring a foreclosed property. You will need to make an offer, but be careful: the offer should be commonsensical, don’t expect a bank to accept a discount of 50%, even if we are talking about foreclosures. Most often, you will get a 10%-20% lower price for an REO foreclosure.

In the end, the key toward purchasing foreclosures, no matter the entity selling them, is given by two stages: careful real estate market investigation and promptness in action when the time comes to place your offer. Remember that the market of foreclosures, no matter how advantageous, is highly competitive, since many homebuyers/investors are interested in it.

About the Author: Government foreclosures and bank foreclosures are the two common manners of purchasing houses at distressed values. With some background research of the real estate market and equipped with promptness, you will be able to purchase the house of your dreams or make the investment of your life in limits more affordable than others.

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