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Pre-Foreclosure (short sale): There are some fantastic opportunities to purchase properties under market value prior to them going into foreclosure. A home owner that is headed into foreclosure may elect to sell the property prior to the bank or government forcing the issue.
Sounds like a good idea but what happens if similar homes in the area are selling for $200,000 and the seller owes $275,000 to the bank to clear the mortgage? A short sale is where the home owner gets the bank to forgive part of the mortgage in order to enable the sale to go through.
Why would the bank do this? It costs them a lot of money to sell a home through the foreclosure process. If they believe that the homeowner will default on the mortgage anyway and it makes financial sense the bank will proceed with a short sale. We can help you navigate this process. If you have questions please call us at 708-434-1165.
Auction: The next stage of a foreclosure is an auction. The bank does not own the property but it is forcing the property to be sold so that it can recoup some of the money that they are owed. There are some additional challenges to buying real estate this way.
The first is that here in the Chicago land area they require 25% of the total purchase price at the auction followed by the rest within 72 hours (or something close to this). So really you need cash to buy these homes.
The second issue is that the buyer is responsible for all liens (past taxes, mechanics liens, code violations, etc) associated with the property whether they are disclosed or not. Additionally and more importantly if the property is occupied then the responsibility to evict lies with the new owner. Because of the way the laws are written this process can take a year or longer in cases when the squatter knows how to plays the eviction game in court to his or her advantage.
Foreclosure (bank owned, REO): If the property does not sell at auction then the bank takes possession. They evict anyone living in the property. They clean up outstanding liens and they put the home on the market looking to sell it quickly (30-45 days). The bank does not want to be a landlord. They want to unload the home so they price it to sell. Of the 3 stages I have listed this is probably the easiest one for the average buyer to complete a purchase.