The Foreclosure Crisis has created an abundance of bank owned REO properties and short sales. Many of these properties have been listed on the market and the increase in inventory has caused real estate prices in the U.S to decline dramatically over the past few years. In some states as many as 1 in 10 homeowners are facing foreclosure and cannot afford their mortgage payments. Many of these homeowners would like to sell their home in order to avoid foreclosure and are considering a short sale.
This crisis creates an opportunity for real estate investors. Cheap bank owned properties can be purchased for pennies on the dollar and are selling at a substantial discount to their true market value. These bank owned REO properties are typically listed on the MLS (multiple listing service) and can be viewed on many websites such as www.realtor.com, www.zillow.com or www.trulia.com.
Buying real estate now is an incredible opportunity for all real estate investors. This is true whether you are buying a house for yourself, a house to fix and flip or a house to keep as a rental property. Prices for U.S real estate are now so low that this represents a historic buying opportunity. And this represents an opportunity for you regardless of whether you do or do not have any cash to invest.
If you are interested in buying a bank owned property to wholesale, flip or keep as a rental property then you might have spent a considerable amount of time searching online on real estate sites for bargain priced properties in your area. And if you have, then what you have found has probably been pretty discouraging. There is so much competition today from buyers looking for bargain priced properties especially lower priced homes. The cheaper the house the more likely it is that landlords and rehabbers that want to fix and flip these houses have already purchased them. If you have been trying to buy a bargain priced bank owned property for cash then you have probably found that almost every house is either sold, contingent or pending sale.
Whatever properties are still available are often short sales where the bank has not even approved the short sale. These short sales are often listed by realtors that may or may not have previous experience in submitting short sale offers to banks. As a cash buyer it can be pretty frustrating to actually try and buy a bank owned property only to find that all of the good properties have already been sold. And this applies regardless of whether you are buying a property for yourself, a property to wholesale or a property to fix and flip or keep as a rental.
Buying properties from other wholesalers makes your job as a real estate investor much easier. All you need to do is sign up for their cash buyers list and then wait for them to send you an email with their latest wholesale real estate deals. If you see something you want to buy then you can make an offer and buy it from the wholesaler who will make a small fee.
If you don’t want to buy properties from other wholesalers and you want to find the properties by yourself then you will need to learn how to find great deals that other investor’s cannot find. And the way that you will do that is by not behaving the same as all the other wannabe real estate investors out there. You will need to look for deals in places where no one else is looking. In other words you will need to learn how to beat the competition (all the other cash buyers). And the way that you will do this is by learning exactly what wholesalers do and how they consistently manage to find all of the great deals before other investors do.
The best way to find great deals is to do what wholesalers do which is to locate them yourself. The way that you do this is by creating your own advertising campaign to find bargain properties directly from distressed homeowners that are currently facing foreclosure and thinking about selling their home. You see, prior to a property going to the foreclosure auction and selling at the courthouse it is still possible to submit a short sale offer to the bank. And right now, with the abundance of foreclosures on the market the banks are beginning to take short sale offers much more seriously than they did in previous years. In fact in many cases they are even paying the owners money to complete a short sale. We have recently seen cases where the banks have paid homeowners as much as $20,000 to complete a short sale.
The reason for this is really quite simple. When a bank has a bad loan on their books they are forced to pay a mortgage insurance premium. This premium can be as much as 15% of the value of the outstanding loan. In addition to this, legal fees to foreclose on a property can be substantial especially if the homeowner hires a foreclosure defense attorney. It can take a bank six months or even longer to finally get the deed to a property and take the property back.
This means that while the bank is waiting to take possession of a property they are losing at least six months or more of interest payments. In some cases it can take as long as 2 years for a bank to get their property back if the foreclosure lawsuit was not filed or served correctly or if the homeowner files bankruptcy.