I'm a little nervous about the whole auction thing, whether a private auction or a sheriff's sale. I attended a session on the latter with my local REIA (SJREIA) last night, so am feeling a little better about it. But there is a LOT of work you need to do beforehand - determine if property is occupied or vacant, what liens are on the property, try and estimate the renovation costs without seeing the inside, looking at comps, attending a few auctions to get comfortable with the bidding process, etc.
I would suggest search for auction.com. I have posted many .
Auction.com is a reliable auction portal. I have bought properties through auction.com. I am talking specifically about Auction.com auctions of foreclosed properties. This is different from courthouse auction.
What to watch out?
Make sure you are getting special warranty and not Quitclaim. If you don't know the difference between the two then you should spend time reading through different deeds.
Initial auction cycles have high reserve price and they are never met. After 6 to 8 weeks you will start seeing realistic reserve price.
Most of the time they decalre the property as "Occupied". If they cut a "Cash for key deal" with occupants they will open it up for inside access.
Auction.com will place bids against buyers. This is disclosed. They have 5% fee on top of your bid. Know your numbers before you place bid.
LAst but not the least, Use your own title company. This is very important. This will insure title/permit searches are done properly and updated prior to closing. You will have to pay your own title insurance when U use your own title company. Believe me it is worth it. When you deal with foreclosures have your own title company and safeguard your investment.