Where to Find Good Deals on Foreclosures in Sacramento

trustee-auction-postponeJust what is the deal with all of those Sacramento foreclosure listings potential buyers find online and get all excited about? Man, you’ve got your auction houses, trustee sales, preforeclosures, short sales, bank-owned homes, HUD homes, the list goes on, and it’s enough to make a poor buyer’s head spin. Let’s not even talk about Property Radar because that’s way too confusing for even licensed real estate agents to navigate much less a poor first-time home buyer, but talk about it I suppose we must.

For starters, you can pretty much discount at least 90% of the stuff you find posted online, unless it is posted on a reputable website in which all of the information on that website is screened for accuracy such as MetroList — but even the public can’t access all of the up-to-minute information available from MetroList like a real estate agent can. We pay big bucks for dues to these businesses for a reason. They have a monopoly.

The preforeclosures that look like listings are typically not for sale. Some buyers spot preforeclosure homes on a website like Zillow, which buys a feed from third-party vendors that downloads listings of homeowners in default. It generally means a homeowner is behind in making payments. A preforeclosure does not mean the home is for sale or will ever be for sale, nor does it mean anybody has the right to start poking around the property, looking in the windows, unless they want to get shot for trespassing.

A short sale listing could be for sale or it could be a contingent short sale or a pending short lender approval status, in the latter cases it means somebody else beat ya to the punch and has already written an offer that the seller accepted. Some short sale status information, especially those advertised in MetroList, are very confusing and laypeople can’t figure out whether they are for sale or not.

If you plan to bid on a trustee’s sale, you’ve got to figure out if the minimum bid is reasonable or the opening bid is unreasonable. If it is unreasonably high, it means the bank doesn’t want anybody to bid on it and prefers to take the home in foreclosure because the bank might make more money to foreclose than to sell at market. If it is reasonable, then you better be prepared to bid with the courthouse steps’ sharks, those guys chewing toothpicks and sticking unlit cigarettes behind their ears. They know what they’re doing; you don’t. Plus, you’ll needs lots of cash. No financing.

There are always auction websites such as auction.com where you can go to buy auction homes online, finance those homes, and you can name an agent to represent you. Be careful of shill bids and reserve pricing, figure out incrementals, and know whether you’re bidding on a short sale, foreclosures in Sacramento or a flipper.

If you like, you can look at those overpriced homes HUD lists online at Homepath, where there is no appraisal because the home probably won’t appraise at that price. The government doesn’t care if you’re upside-down the day you buy.

Or you can just cut to the chase and talk to your Sacramento real estate agent and ask a professional to find you a good deal. But bear in mind we have very little inventory and stiff competition for the well priced stuff. Maybe your best bet is just to try to buy a home? Not everybody needs to get a smokin’ deal to do well. Those searching for smokin’ deals often end up with nothing but black hands and shredded beliefs based on getting something for free.

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