Remember why these homes were foreclosed on in the first place. There are ways you can win big on foreclosure auctions. “Owner occupants on a budget and real estate professionals migrate to sources where there is less competition,” he says. An absolute auction is a type of auction where the sale is awarded to the highest bidder. Check for Any Claims, Liens, and Occupants, Pre-Foreclosure: What Happens before the Bank Forecloses on a Home, How Absolute Auctions Work in Foreclosures and Other Circumstances, Auctions are not the only way to buy foreclosures. For auctions that allow financed purchases, you’ll need to get prequalified ahead of time. Be prepared to provide proof of funds to show you can complete the purchase. If you do win an auction, you’ll want to buy title insurance during escrow or immediately after closing to protect yourself against any liens not uncovered during the title search. Bidders then take turns offering higher and higher bids until someone makes an offer nobody's willing to top. In some cases, you may need a real estate license to access these. While rules vary by location, MLS and county records are often only available to real estate licensees, according to White. Bank-owned property is a designation given to properties that were not sold during a foreclosure sale and thus are added to that bank's inventory. In real estate, a short sale is when a homeowner in financial distress sells their property for less than the amount due on the mortgage. Have a question? Before bidding at a real estate auction, you should understand the risk you are taking. You can also purchase a property at auction. The property may have claims or liens against it from any number of creditors. In a lender confirmation auction, the lender does not have to accept your offer, even if you are the highest bidder. But be forewarned: this competition is fierce. How Do Home Foreclosure Auctions Work? This information may give you some leverage. Of course, you may not find any homes you like if you only consider those that allow pre-inspections. You also need to understand the auction’s rules and be prepared to follow them before trying to participate. Typically, you will have to pay for the property in full immediately after winning the auction. An award-winning writer with more than two decades of experience in real estate. That burden shifts to you along with the keys to your new house. The best way to gauge an auction property is to work with pros—real estate agents, appraisers, and contractors—who understand construction and remodeling costs and who can accurately assess the property’s current and future value and the cost of the work it needs. One of the best ways to find a home auction is by looking through direct multiple listing services (MLS). However, foreclosure auctions don’t provide the discounts that existed during the time of the [housing] crisis.”. “Naturally, auction properties generate fewer offers, resulting in a lower sale price. Review and understand all auction rules and do your due diligence on any property you are interested in—for instance, check for claims, liens, and occupants before you bid. You will have to register and submit a refundable deposit of 5% to 10% of the property’s expected selling price to the entity holding the auction. But you have to do it the right way. “While the deposit is refundable, if you plan on bidding on more than one home, that adds up quickly.”. When this happens, the bank files a notice of default with the county recorder. Unfortunately, you may not find them eager to help, because agents and brokers do not automatically earn commissions on live auctions. If you win the bid, congratulations. … More-flexible financing options may be available by purchasing a bank-owned property the traditional way. And even if you can tour a home before the auction, you can only see so much. Compare the Top 3 Financial Advisors For You. Properties may be listed that are in pre-foreclosure, because the owner is behind on payments. He and his wife own 22 rental properties in three states, and he is the owner and operator of Silicon Valley Property Management Group. The best way to assess an auction property is to work with real estate agents, appraisers, and contractors. The property is not actually yours until you hold that certificate; the owner could still retain his or her right to the home by filing an objection to the sale with the court or by paying off the loan. Once you’ve identified some properties with possibility, it’s time to get your cash ready. In some cases, they may have even intentionally done damage when they knew they were losing the home. Attending a House Auction. But this guide will help you navigate these auctions like a pro. Make sure you’re paying cash and have budgeted enough to cover both … Problems behind walls, in ceilings, and under floors might not be apparent until you take possession. Local real estate agents and brokers can also be valuable resources. Working with a local real estate agent or broker to identify potential properties may help, although they may not be interested unless you can reach a compensation agreement.