Foreclosed houses are bargain deals for buyers but there are pitfalls. Beth Hoffmann and Andrew Garcia fell in love with each other and with a foreclosed unit in Mayfield Baltimore – it was just ideal for their first nest. They thought it would be easier to sail through a foreclosure deal than with a short sale. But soon they found the difficulties here also.
The bank gave the nod to their offer of $170,000 on 20th January 2009 and insisted that within 30 days a short settlement should be reached. But soon it was found that the bank itself did not have a clear title when D-day arrived. The couple had scrambled to be on time but from then on the uncertainty began. It ran on to weeks exhausting all their desires to own a house.
In the age of the Internet it is easy find out details about foreclosure auctions, conducted tours of houses etc on websites dealing with the same. But the increasing number of foreclosures does not mean that the process of purchasing is getting easier for potential buyers.
The latest buzz word is ‘foreclosure’ and everyone is making a bee line for the auctions and sales. For the above mentioned couple it meant anger, frustration and despair alternating with determination to clinch the deal. At a point they were ready to retreat but thinking about the hard work they had already put in and the dreams they had built up, the couple decided to pursue the matter. He now advises others to contact an agent rather than doing it alone. Agents are professionally qualified to tackle such tricky issues.
The agent should be experienced and conversant with foreclosure sales. David McIlvaine of Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors said, “This is a niche market that involves agents that understand the system and the process. You have to be pro-active. You can’t just sit around.” The title issues create problems. One has to have a lot of patience.
Hoffman and Garcia did research independently and found out that the previous owners had declared the house as asset in a bankruptcy case.
The house should be thoroughly inspected first because the banks sell it on an as is basis. Once a deposit is given it cannot be taken back irrespective of the condition of the unit. Considering the many facets of foreclosure deals it is not always the best deal.