Foreclosed and foreclosing properties still dominate many of today’s US real estate markets—more than four years after the sharpest observers saw the market shift coming, and more than two years after the reality hit home for millions of American home owners.
As in any market, one person’s misfortune is another person’s opportunity. The recent Keller Williams Distressed Property Buying Survey unearthed a ton of great information about where the opportunities are, how big they are, and how smart, capable buyers are taking advantage.
First time home buyers, spurred by tax credit opportunities, make up almost half of all successful buyers of bank owned foreclosures and soon-to-be foreclosed short sale properties. They’re followed closely by investors seeking rentals that cash flow better for them, and a third important group—homeowners who find they can move up to a bigger or better home they previously could not afford.
To help more consumers win as buyers Keller Williams agents are now offering a workshop, “Winning with Foreclosures" that shows buyers how to prepare to be successful buying the “distressed" properties—homes that offer, according to the survey, a 10% to 40% price advantage of traditional sales depending on the local market.
The truth is: these markets demand most of the same things an ordinary market demands of buyers—only more intensely and pointedly:
Money: Buyers must be financially qualified and ready to buy. The best properties go quickly. Buyers must know they will look string to lenders who must approve the sale.
Motivation: Buyers must be motivated to compete successfully. Keller Williams agents urge their buyers in this market to be clear about both their “motivating why" and their criteria for the property itself (size, location, condition, floor plan, etc.)
Location: Contrary to the rumors, prime buying opportunities exist in almost every neighborhood and price range.
Condition: Buyers should understand that repair costs are not necessarily large. The Keller Williams Distressed Property Buying Survey shows the average cost to repair as $5,000—that’s less than 3% of the median purchase price in the US today.
Expert Help: Finally, smart buyers know they need to be even smarter—they become a team with a local expert agent who knows local property, pricing, lenders, and the best listing agents. A strong listing agent can really help a distressed sale go through.
So, bottom line—if you think you want to buy, have a talk with yourself first, check your financial readiness, and talk to one of our experts to help in learning everything you need to know. You can get what you want in this market, espeically when you are working with a team of experts.