Buying Foreclosures

Dated: January 5 2018

Views: 2454


What should you expect when buying a foreclosure?  Expect things to go wrong.  


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I’m a pretty positive person and as such, do what I can to avoid being sad, disappointed or insanely angry.  If you’re considering buying a foreclosure, these are all emotions you might be faced with in the near future!  I’m pretty sure that when Brandon Walsh took his SAT’s (yes, this is a 90210 reference, so what?) his strategy was to expect the worst and hope for the best.  The same rule of thumb applies when buying a foreclosure.  Why, you ask? Well….


The selling bank does not care about you.  Sounds harsh, but it’s true.  


However, WE care about you which is why we’re telling you to prepare for things to go wrong. Some examples: 


  • Timing – the bank might take forever to get back to you on the offer and before you know it, someone else has submitted an offer. Then someone else submits an offer! Multiple offer situations are really common in foreclosure sales so be prepared to compete with other people with your highest and best offer.  And, be prepared for it to take more time than seems reasonable.

  • Inspections – a home inspection on a foreclosure has potential to be pretty scary. Who knows how long the property has been empty. Or how much it was neglected.  You’ll want to ask the bank to fix major issues (don’t sweat the small stuff!) and they’re going to annoy you when they say they’re not going to make any repairs.  To the nameless, faceless person at the bank – this is just another business deal.  Luckily, we’re skilled in the negotiation department to help minimize your stress.  

  • Title issues – in the state of Iowa you need to have clear title to close.  A foreclosure will sometimes have title defects which are old judgments that need to be resolved and removed from the title.  Sometimes this takes extra time. We feel your pain. 

  • More time – sometimes it feels like it takes forever to get to the closing day but this is especially true with a foreclosure.  As soon as one thing goes wrong causing a delay, it will naturally cause more delays.  Remember what I said at the beginning of this blog? Expect things to go wrong. (See above)

  • Closing rush – FINALLY it’s all coming together and your lender says you can close tomorrow.  But wait! The foreclosure bank is going to need more time. Be prepared for the bank owning the foreclosure to need 48 hours to review the final settlement statement and provide signed copies. At this point you’re going to be insanely angry if you haven’t expected things to go wrong.  


In the case of buying a foreclosure, being positive really does equate to expecting the worst. I know that sounds so strange but it’s true! You need to protect your emotions and have accurate expectations up front so you’re not sad, disappointed and/or insanely angry by closing time.  The end of the story will hopefully result in you getting ownership of the house you’re meant to have and it will all have been worth it! 


If you haven’t been totally scared from buying a foreclosure (or even a regular house, that works too) then please do give us a call.  Everyone at Heather Wright & Associates is prepared to help you every step of the way of buying a new home. 

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Heather Wright

In the competitive Des Moines market, Heather Wright combines client-focused service, innovative marketing techniques, and a decade of experience to make sure that your buying or selling experience is....

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