The following is an answer to a recent email I received from a blog reader. He had inquired about bank owned properties and i sent him a list of a mix of properties (bank owned foreclosures and privately owned) from the NNEREN mls we use as brokers in NH. He responded by saying that he didn't want mls listings but that he actually wanted the info. on foreclosures: This led me to my explanation of the methods and reasoning behind the very public approach the banks take and the information that the people that sell "Foreclosure Property Lists" do not want you to know. This is a time of opportunity and like many windows of opportunity, there are many many snake oil sales schemes that prey upon the perception that there is a secret method of advertising foreclosures that the banks employ as opposed to soliciting the highest market value they could get on the open market. The old stan-by saying of "they don't want to own property" makes us all believe that they will just give them away if only they could find a buyer. The reality is that they want the highest value they can get in the shortest period of time. Here is my response:
Banks actually list their properties with brokers in order to get the full exposure to the competitive market. They send their own reps to auctions to make sure they don't sell for less than a marketable value. Then they list the property with a broker, like myself, to get the property on the mls. This works well for them because their pricing strategy is to price below the appraised value so that their listings are an obvious value in comparison to the regular mls offerings. They can do this because they are just trying to mitigate losses. Private property sellers are typically trying to pay off a mortgage or maximize their profits. The banks accept that their will be a loss. They get an opinion of value from their broker, then they pay to have an appraiser give a value and then they undercut it by a margin that will make them sell fast and often in a competitive offer situation.
I think your question stems from a myth that is popularized by companies that sell lists of foreclosures and that myth is that there is some type of secondary marketplace where banks quietly stash their listings. Banks want to expose their properties to the largest number of ready, willing and able buyers. Brokers and the mls are the best source for buyers.
The secondary benefit for buyers in a foreclosure rich market is that the banks start to take control of the prices. When foreclosures sell for 10% below an appraised value every property around that sale is devalued by 10%. Then to sell a home in that area a property needs to be priced so as to be an obvious value. In other words, it has to be priced below the adjusted value. So what we are seeing now is that sellers that really want to sell need to compete with the banks' prices. This presents great deals for buyers whether the property is a foreclosure or not.
What I think you need to do is to look for a property that has what you want and then work with me to compare it to sold properties to determine the price that makes it a great deal and then you make an offer. It doesn't matter if it's a bank or a homeowner so long as you get the property for the right price.
Badger Realty North Conway NH
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