Last Purchase Price

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Am I correct to think that what a person might want to sell their home for in a pre-foerclosure would be less or at least the amount of what they paid for it when they bought it. I'm just wondering how you begin to establish an offer to the owner.

this totally depends on the person, the property, and the situation.  

The term "pre-foreclosure" is highly subjective - as long as you have a loan on your property you are technically always in pre-foreclosure - whether it actually gets to foreclosure or not is a different story. "pre-foreclosure" is a sexy term - but it really doesn't mean anything without qualifying an individual situation.

If you want to have a better chance of success getting a property which is inevitably going to be foreclosed upon, it's a safe bet to start by looking at market comps and then adjust your number based on the condition of the property and the situation of the current owner.  You shouldn't think that just because somebody is about to lose their house they will give it up for less money.  I've seen people lose 100% of their equity instead of only losing a few thousand bucks by selling for less than what they paid.

People will often make poor decisions in desperate times - sometimes those poor decisions will benefit you, other times they will benefit nobody.