Buyers Say Foreclosure Deals Taking Too Long

Banks are quickly accepting bids and writing contracts for foreclosed homes, but buyers are complaining that settlements are taking too long.

Real estate pros say purchasing a bank-owned property is different than dealing with a regular home owner, considering that banks have to check claims on the property and problems can arise at closing. Plus, in some states, banks also need court approval of the foreclosure.

Although banks are swamped by the record number of foreclosures, the bank-owned homes will have to be sold to help stabilize residential prices and boost the housing market.

Source: Washington Post, Dina ElBoghdady (04/13/09)

© Copyright 2009 Information Inc.

Tread Carefully When Making a Low-Ball Offer

These days, it’s easier to make a low-ball offer than it used to be, but still it’s important to be smart. Here are some things that a real estate practitioner and would-be buyer should consider when contemplating such an offer:

Use foreclosures as comps carefully. Look realistically at the prices foreclosures in the neighborhood brought. Foreclosures aren’t good comps if the homes were stripped of appliances, pipes, HVAC, etc.
Examine details of short sales critically. How many liens were there against low-selling short sales? If there were no secondary liens, the lender had considerable flexibility.
Establish realistic time frames. Even in the best of circumstances, foreclosure takes a long time. Will the seller play the waiting game? How long have houses whose owners have equity stayed on the market? Is the buyer in a hurry?

If your buyer makes a low-ball offer, the bank probably won’t be in any rush to take it. They’ll likely just keep soliciting offers without coming back with a counter. Ultimately, the property is likely to sell for a higher price and, chances are, you and your buyer won’t know it until the deal is done.

Source: ThinkGlinck, Ilyce R. Glink (03/30/2009)

Where Buyers are Picking Up Housing Bargains

Smart investors in all parts of the country are picking up fabulous housing bargains.

Bill Leon, president of Florida’s Broward (County) Real Estate Investors Association, has been buying and selling investment property for years, but he thinks today’s deals are unprecedented. “People are afraid not to sell because they don’t know where the bottom of the market is,” he says.

David Dweck, a hard-money lender, believes the best buys are in what he calls “workforce housing,” aging bungalows on small lots. They are selling for as little as 10 cents on the dollar compared to what they were going for in 2006, he says, then fixed up and resold or rented quickly.

“People have been beaten down by fear, negativity, constant media bombardment,” says Dweck. “There is a silver lining. The future looks bright.”

Sheresa Pompay, an associate with Hunt Real Estate ERA in Chandler, Ariz., says bad publicity is good for real estate investors. “I love the people who read about all the gloom and doom, because they stay on the sidelines and go, ‘It hasn’t hit bottom.’ Whatever. By the time everyone jumps back in, we’ll be out and doing something else.”

Fortune magazine predicts that these will be the 10 worst-performing real-estate markets – and the best places for finding bargains – in 2009:

Los Angeles, down -24.9 percent
Stockton, Calif., -24.7 percent
Riverside, Calif. -23.3 percent
Miami-Miami Beach, -22.8 percent
Sacramento, -22.2 percent
Santa Ana-Anaheim, Calif., -22 percent
Fresno, Calif., -21.6 percent
San Diego, Calif., 21.1 percent
Bakersfield, Calif., -20.9 percent
Washington, D.C., -19.9 percent

Source: Fortune, David Whitford

* Take note, owner occupant buyers- don’t let fear keep you from getting in the game!