Foreclosure homes are attractive due to their reduced listing prices. These are properties that banks want to get rid of and as a result they will sell these homes at sizable discounts. However, before you buy a foreclosed home you should get well informed.

Foreclosure proceedings often take months, sometimes this will last for more than a year. The reason for such a lengthy process is due to the fact that many foreclosed borrowers do not want to get out of their home and they will do whatever it takes to further lower the property’s value so that it is less attractive for the bank, which includes; punching holes in walls, damaging the heating/air conditioning systems, and ripping out cabinets and fixtures. Consequently, the home is in an extremely poor condition. Prior to buying the foreclosed property you should get professional help. The banks have their own real estate agents who list and market the foreclosures, and you have to remember that they represent the bank and not you. Work with your own agent, who will be able to inform you on key issues such as; pricing, local zoning issues, or law constraints that could affect your purchase. You can also get information from your agent whether there are any recorded liens against the property such as; unpaid taxes, repair bills or homeowner’s association dues. You will be required to pay for all of the outstanding liens. You should also hire a building inspector and a contractor to give you an idea of how much the repair will cost you. You need to check which utilities work and you need to ask yourself if you actually gave yourself enough time to inspect the place and if you know the home’s true condition. Once you have the full information on the home you need to ask yourself if you are prepared to invest the money and time needed to fix the home.

Once you have done your due-diligence don’t wait to apply for a financing approval. Foreclosures are usually a great deal and they do not remain on the market long. Therefore get a pre-qualification as soon as possible and make sure you have enough on hand to cover the down payment, inspection costs, insurance, and pest control. When you are ready to make an offer, work with an agent to negotiate a deal. You will be happy to know that many lenders will offer repair reimbursement, lower down payments, and other incentives.