Ever since we launched our foreclosure portal on our web site we’ve been inundated with inquires requesting information on how to purchase one of the many homes going to auction.
What we did not anticipate was the general misunderstanding of the process.
First, the opening bid is inappropriately referred to as the "sale price" when in fact it is more accurately the opening bid price. This sale price is what seems to attract the throngs of interested parties since it sounds too good to be true, and in fact, it is.
Buyers are asking us, "How can I purchase that home?" Of course the answer is you attend the Sherriff’s auction and be the winning bidder.
Then they ask when can they see the home? Unfortunately, the answer is not until after you buy it. The Sherriff’s department does not conduct home tours, nor do they perform inspections and provide buyers with illuminative reports on the condition of the home. Bidders show up with 10% of the price they wish to bid and must provide the remainder within 10 days of the auction or forfeit their deposit.
If you are lucky enough to be the winning bidder and manage to get a home for less than what surrounding properties of like kind are selling for-good. Now all you have to do is hope that when you get the keys and open the door the walls are intact, the kitchen is still there and the floors are not ruined.
Unless you are a savvy investor with deep pockets we suggest that buyers stick with more traditional methods with safeguards for purchasing a home.