These tips apply to virtually all markets in Northern CA and while many buyers have heard that there are many foreclosures on the market, most don’t understand these practical rules they can follow to save money and get the attention of the selling bank.
Here are some tips to consider:
1. Work with an agent who has access to foreclosure information.
Many home buyers assume that all agents have access to foreclosure listings. It’s important to ask. And it is important to ask if they have helped a buyer with a foreclosure sale recently to be sure they understand the rewards and pitfall of purchasing a repossessed home. You can search for foreclosed listings in Sonoma County at www.bethrobertson.com.
2. Bank-owned properties generally close faster than short sales.
While short sales can be bargains, they also can take a lot longer or for that matter, never even close. Some banks will negotiate in a timely manner on short sales, but most will prioritize properties they have already repossessed.
3. Always offer less than the asking price.
Don’t assume that banks are firm on their price. For example, asset managers responsible for liquidating bank-owned Sonoma County condos are often willing to consider a lower offer. Have your agent check in with the selling banks agent to determine if there have been other offers of if he/she knows of other offers coming in.
4. Ask the bank to pay your closing costs.
The worst that can happen is that they say no. Sometimes buyers are surprised to find that banks can be quite accommodating when they want to. Also, be sure to have a pest inspection, home inspection, and other inspections these experts recommend so you are fairly sure of the condition of what you are purchasing. Your agent can advise you if you need to renegotiate after these inspections.
5. Get pre-approved from the right bank.
When making an offer on a short sale, it’s often strategically helpful to be pre-approved by the same bank that is authorizing the lower than loan amount sale of the home. During negotiations, this may tip the scales in your favor.