Five Rules for Buying a Bank- And Builder-Owned Home at Auction
"Auctions of bank-and builder-owned homes are an alternative to the
traditional way of purchasing a home and represent a potentially bigger
opportunity to get a bargain -- if buyers come prepared to win," said Ross
Dove, President of Zetabid Auction Services and a lifelong auctioneer. "Buyers
who educate themselves and properly prepare have a greater likelihood of
getting the home they've always wanted at an even better price."
With foreclosures and unsold housing inventory at all-time highs,
consumers have a unique opportunity at auctions of bank- and builder-owned
homes if they follow these five golden rules:
1. Do your homework. Identify the houses you're interested in buying.
Go online to places like www.zetabid.com and search to see the inventory of
homes to be sold. Buyers can search by community, number of bedrooms and
2. Visit the properties in advance. It's critical to view the homes
first. Some properties to be auctioned have open houses, so you can walk
through the homes to get a feel for them. Because homes are sold "as is," it's
critical to be comfortable beforehand with any property you may wind up
3. Make a short list. After seeing the homes, whittle down the list to
only those you really want. It's possible your first or second choice may be
gone. Be financially and emotionally prepared to move on to your next one -
or be ready to walk away.
4. Make a game plan - and keep to it. Decide in advance how much you are
willing to pay. Don't go over budget, and don't buy on impulse. At Zetabid,
you can bring your real estate agent, who can assist you during the bidding
5. Get to the auction early - and bring your checkbook. If you're not
registered online in advance, you'll need to do so in-person the day of the
event. It's important to get there ahead of time to get comfortable. If
you're the winning bidder, you'll need to write a check for a 5% downpayment.
The rest is due in 30 days.