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Foreclosures Can Offer Deals, but Buyer Beware

December 7, 2009

Bill Rawlings, REALTOR®

Submitted by Bill Rawlings, REALTOR®, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty.  

By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD,  Published: December 4, 2009 on the New York Times.com

So you’re looking to buy a new home, and you think a foreclosed house may be the best deal. You’ve probably noticed, then, that many of the big banks’ Web sites are beginning to look a bit like real estate brokerages, showcasing the many properties that they’ve repossessed.

Michelle and Mark Gordon, with their daughter, Taylor, bought a short-sale house. Jamie Rector for The New York Times

These houses often sell for about 15 to 20 percent less than comparable homes in the same neighborhood, according to the National Association of Realtors. And while the banks have been careful not to flood the market with all their properties at once, there are hundreds of thousands of listings now, and half a million more expected in the coming year.

Despite the seemingly high inventory, though, anyone considering buying a distressed property should heed the classic warning: Caveat emptor, or let the buyer beware.

Closing a deal in a desirable neighborhood can be hard to do. Many aspiring homeowners have lost out to all-cash bidders. Buyers also need to search more aggressively than usual, which means figuring out which brokers have the best foreclosure listings, religiously checking for new ones and visiting the properties shortly thereafter.Buyers also need to ensure that the home is truly a good deal and not a money pit — most of these homes are sold as is.

Please click here to see the rest of the story on the New York Times regarding tips for buying a foreclosure or short sale.  

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