When you are looking for foreclosure bargains in the D.C. area, you may want to start checking online at various websites by searching under foreclosures, bank owned or foreclosure auctions. A number of websites will come up. Then you can also search by neighborhood or price range. Looking at local Realtor websites is another place to find listings. Realtors list their properties in the local MLS and on their websites as well as in newspapers and magazines. The newspaper ads on Saturdays and Sundays will list open houses and properties by appointment. Also, foreclosure auction sales are published in the newspaper. Home magazines list foreclosures as well. Courthouse records can be accessed and you can get a list of pre-foreclosed homes and contact the owners directly by mail or in person. Pre-foreclosures are short sales that are still owned by the sellers, but they are about to default so you may be able to work out a deal with their lender and save the expense for everyone of the house going to foreclosure.
Work with a Realtor
Investing in D.C. foreclosure homes is a great way to pick up a property at a deep discount. When you work with a local Realtor, they have access to REO bank owned homes that have already been through the foreclosure process and offer less risk as well as short sales that are listed with local Realtors. With a REO or short sale, you do not have to be concerned about paying off liens because the bank that owns the home or has the first lien mortgage will take care of that for you. REO and short sale homes are delivered vacant so there are no extra costs to evict a tenant or former owner as you might have when you buy a foreclosure auction property. Also, you have the ability to inspect the home to make sure it is in good condition, and you can obtain title insurance. With an auction property, you may not be able to inspect the home, and you cannot get title insurance. All foreclosures and short sales are sold in the condition that you see them. The banks do not make repairs nor do the short sale sellers. When you purchase a REO property, you can obtain financing. Sometimes, short sales require all cash. It depends on the bank’s preferences.
Your Realtor can narrow down your home search by price and neighborhood for you, and give you a comparative market analysis of similar homes that have sold recently so you know what to offer the bank. REO homes are priced to sell so there may not be much flexibility because the list price is usually substantially reduced. Short sales may have some room for negotiating. However, the bank will do a broker price opinion, and if the home is not within market price or slightly lower, they may not accept your offer if it is too low. Short sales take longer to close as well. It’s always a good idea to check the home prices though so you are confident you are getting a bargain. The Realtor will write the offer and present it to the seller or their agent for you and help refer you to a mortgage broker as well as work with the closing agent to coordinate the closing so everything goes smoothly and you get possession of your foreclosure or pre-foreclosure short sale property.
Auctions are good way to get a really discounted property, but you have to make sure to conduct your due diligence because homes are in poor condition most of the time. If the home needs new major systems, it may not be such a good deal unless you can do the work yourself. Take repairs into account when you bid. Also, you will need cash to bid at an auction. Don’t get carried away and bid too much. Homes that don’t sell at auctions become REO bank owned homes. So if there is home that you want, you can track it, and when the home comes on the market with a local Realtor as a REO, then you can make an offer on it.
Another way to find a foreclosed home in the D.C. area is to look for signs by driving the neighborhoods you are interested in. There are lots of foreclosure signs, and you should be able to find a home that interests you. However, this is time consuming, and for those buyers who live out of the area- impractical. It’s easier and more efficient to just work with a local Realtor.
With so many resources to find foreclosure homes in the D.C. area, you have a wide selection of places to look for a home. The inventory is high and the prices are low so now is a great time to buy a foreclosure home in the D.C. area.