If the bank ends up owning the home, it will try to sell it as quickly as possible, especially in today's market. A bank won't give you a great deal, but it might give you a very good deal, perhaps as little as 80-85 percent of fair market value. The bank will typically make sure the title is clear of liens (which use the property as collateral) and other barriers to transfer and do some basic repairs to make sure the property is more appealing to prospective buyers. To find these REO properties in your area, call real estate agencies and ask them if any of their agents specialize in REO homes. The bank will pay the agent's commission if you eventually buy a property through him or her. Or call area banks and say you are interested in seeking a list of its foreclosed properties.
Liens: The buyer of a foreclosed home may not know that it carries one or more liens. Some liens, such as those filed by trades people, are wiped out by the foreclosure process, but when it's a government agency, such as the IRS, or a homeowners association that is owned money, the debt normally passes to the new owner. A title performed after the foreclosure or an attorney with experience in this field can tell you what liens remain. Cost: A title company might charge $100 to $150 to search for title liens ... a real estate attorney costs a bit more.
Condition: The property you buy might be in worse shape that you realized. Example: The previous owners/occupants trashed the inside of the home to get back at the bank for eviction. Try to inspect before you buy. This will finish the last two weeks and more than eight letters.
Question: Bob, how do you sell a home in this terrible market?
- Tom N.H.F.
Answer: Tom - not having fun!
Real estate values have been falling quickly across most of the U.S. The pace of existing home sales is down sharply as well, with many homes languishing on the market for months and months.
There are strategies that can help your home - for a fair price - even in hard-hit areas.
Big move for sellers
You might be very aggressive in the current environment, especially if your local real estate market (Lee County has its share) has a glut of homes for sale. Here's how:
1. Don't start with a high price. Asking price is the single most important reason a home does not sell. In this buyer's market, it is a mistake to set a high price and assume you can lower it later, if necessary, in negotiations. Area real state agents pay the most attention to listings when they first appear on the market.
0These days, they may not even bother to show your home to buyers if it's overpriced.
If you start too high, by the time you do lower your price, real estate agents will have newer listings to show buyers. The buyers who do show your home will view your price cut as a sign of desperation and bid lower.
To be continued next week - stay tuned.
Have a real estate question? Write, call, fax or e-mail:
Bob Jeffries, Realtor,
Century 21 Birchwood Realty, Inc.
4040 Del Prado Blvd., Cape Coral, FL