Foreclosure at auctions? Think Short sales instead!

Real Estate Agent with Taking a break

There has been many homes that have been sold at bank auctions lately. This is an area that I have had mixed feelings on for sometime but think that a negative situation can open up to a positive one.

I have been to a few over the last 15 years, long before I became a Real Estate Broker.  I did not like them much when I went. Maybe it was that it was a BLIND bid auction, or a fast pace one that I did not feel as though I could keep up with.  As time went on I decided that unless I needed to I would really like to stay away from the auctions. That was just me and how comfortable I was.

Some of the things I will point out is at auctions you really need to come in with CASH for several reasons.The Price is due within 45 days or less (30 being the average). You will find it near impossible to secure a loan right now on property in such a short time period. Even if you do, More then likely it will be a high interest loan with penalties for early payoff. So CASH really is the option. For one person to do this can be more difficult. A Small group could do this better as a collective but it would have to be set up in a way that was legal and hopefully fair to all members involved.

10 people , $20,000 each give the group the buying power of $200,000 minus all the small set up fee's and such.

Basically 1/10 interest in a group that can start positioning itself in the market again.

Before you ever bid on a property, get your own independent inspector and appraisal so that you know what your really getting. This will be money well spent and hopefully prevent one from buying a money pit.

Remember you are bidding with other people that will be competitive with you. If you ever want to really see how these work, sit in on one to get a feel. You can find good deals and bid on them only to have somebody else outbid you.

Another way is to hook up with a Real Estate Broker and have them search for Short sales. These would be homes that are pre foreclosure. There can be some great finds if your patient and willing to work with the banks and the agent. I will be honest with you, short sales are a great way to get a fantastic bargin. It takes a foreclosure off the owners future, but it can be a pain to deal with the banks(third party approval) that hold the sellers note. There is no FAST way around it. Real Estate Companies say they can move faster then others but I have found that they all move at the same speed if they have everything in order, and that is not very fast. The Banks are overloaded and understaffed.

So there it is, if you have some patience and are willing to ride the waves, you more then likely can get a great buy in the short sale area. Just remember that is is not going to be fast.

Worst case is the whole deal falls apart because the lenders might have dragged their feet or did not communicate information to another department. As Realtors we keep in close contact with everything that is going on, but beyond popular belief we can not walk in and ask for a file to be put on the top of a pile if we take the loss mitigater out for drinks.

Looking for a great deal? Look into Short Sales if you have the TIME and PATIENCE, you will save MONEY.

If honesty, integrity, market knowledge, trust worthiness Are important things to look for when choosing a real estate professional, then give me a ring.

Best to you and yours.

Timothy Butterworth

Real Estate  Broker

Corporate Office

215 SE 102nd, Suite 300

Portland, Oregon 97216 

503-960-4589 Cell

503-287-3417 office

503-287-4657 fax



Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

I've stood on the courthouse steps with a large cashier's check in my pocket and then a huge roll of cash as well . . . as I looked around I wondered how many others had $100,000+ cash in their wallets -- the majority of them I discovered.  Seemed like a flawed system to me!  We were prime targets for a crime.  I never bought a home on the courthouse steps -- they were all bid up too high and we have found much better deals through knowledgeable realtors such as yourself!

Dec 15, 2008 11:47 PM
Mark Solomon
Advantage Real Estate - Chino Hills, CA

I loved your article. People need to be more aware of what short sales are about and your article was very educational.

Dec 16, 2008 01:57 AM
Terry Miller
Miller Homes Group - Tyler, TX
Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator

Great post. Being aware  of what you can do is a must. Your article helps a bunch. Thanks and have a great holiday, 


Dec 16, 2008 05:08 AM
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team

Short sales are never easy...but they are becoming more and more 'normal'. An agent who is experienced in dealing with short sales is a must for anyone considering purchasing a short sale. ~GBU~

Dec 16, 2008 02:50 PM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I got started in property renovations/flipping as a 5% partner. Once everyone else saw what I was capable of doing, I got larger and larger percentages until I was able to go off on my own. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.

Dec 20, 2008 08:39 PM