These are homes that have either gone through foreclosure or are being marketed as "short sales." In a short sale, the homeowner can't afford to maintain the mortgage, but the lender - rather than foreclosing - agrees to the sale of the property for less than the balance of the loan.
These types of sales have different dynamics than traditional sales - with more paperwork, often a longer transaction process and, in some cases, more frustration. For these reasons, many buyers shy away from foreclosures or short sales.However, if you understand the potential pitfalls of purchasing a distressed property - and work with an agent who has a thorough knowledge of this market - you can get a great home at a great price.
Many agents have been specially trained in working with foreclosures or short sales through the Certified Distressed Property Expert class or a similar course. It is important to work with a CDPE that can guide you through the process and help you locate and purchase just the right home for you.
This is an outstanding time to buy a home - distressed property or not. With historically low interest rates, and a glut of homes on the market in most areas, there are bargains to be found. And the U.S. tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers - good for a home purchased before Dec. 1, 2009 - makes purchasing a home even more attractive.
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