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How to Shop Bank-Owned Properties


Bank-owned properties can be a savvy choice for first-time buyers looking for a deal and for seasoned property investors alike.

This is because the properties are often listed for sale at a tremendous discount since the bank (after the foreclosure process or through debt resolutions) would prefer not to own forever or to lease the real estate.

So if you’re up for a challenge and for trying something new, here are some tips that will help you through the bank-owned property shopping process.

It’s a normal real estate transaction

Here’s a secret. Even though you go through a bank, it’s still a normal real estate transaction. And while the bank often works with outside brokers as the intermediary, you may find one (like First Bank) where bank employees are licensed brokers themselves.

Unlike a traditional real estate transaction with other types of properties, the offer and purchase process can go quickly, since much of the paperwork, analysis, and decision making is all within the various departments of the same bank. And once your offer has been approved, you can sometimes close in the same week!

Ask for help, it’s available

Like a house, but feeling stuck? Just reach out to the bank for more information, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.

You’re sure to receive ethical and helpful treatment, even for the properties that need a lot of work. Plus, establishing a relationship with a bank for this purchase can lead to additional valuable financial avenues for more of your future plans (like remodeling).

You might have some picking up to do

Speaking of remodeling, be prepared for a fixer-upper. Some of these homes may have deferred maintenance during the foreclosure process or be in need of updating to more current or popular interior finishes.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still great finds since you’re still going to get a deal on the purchase price. Think of the process as a treasure hunt.

Work with a local mortgage specialist

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