Pre-Foreclosures I am in the dark!

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Okay, So I am in the dark a little bit with pre-foreclosures. I am looking into buying a property to flip or use the BRRRR strategy but first I am trying to do all my research.

I understand that in order to get a pre-foreclosure you have to contact the buyer. But if the buyer agrees to make a deal with you then what? How does the process work with and agent? How does the process work without an agent? 

How do you make sure that the house becomes yours after you pay off their debt? Also where does the house going to auction come into play?

Sorry for all the questions just trying to wrap my head around all of the pre-foreclosure concepts.

Originally posted by @Tyler Harris :

Okay, So I am in the dark a little bit with pre-foreclosures. I am looking into buying a property to flip or use the BRRRR strategy but first I am trying to do all my research.

I understand that in order to get a pre-foreclosure you have to contact the buyer. But if the buyer agrees to make a deal with you then what? How does the process work with and agent? How does the process work without an agent? 

How do you make sure that the house becomes yours after you pay off their debt? Also where does the house going to auction come into play?

Sorry for all the questions just trying to wrap my head around all of the pre-foreclosure concepts.

I've done pre-foreclosures and foreclosures for 25 years. That's a loaded question you ask. First the laws vary by state. Second there are mortgage foreclosures and Deed of Trust foreclosures, they are very different. Third some states have redemption periods and some don't. Fourth the only way to find out how much is owed on a property in foreclosure is to get the owner to ask the lender for a payoff and to order a Title Report as well. Fifth you can't inspect a property unless you have the owner's permission but you are always fighting the clock as to the sale date. Sixth most homes in foreclosure have a lot of deferred maintenance. Seventh depending on who the lender is and what type of loan (FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA, Jumbo, HELOC, Reverse, Hard Money, Private Lender, etc) and how long it's been delinquent and if this is the first time they were delinquent or they've been delinquent before and why the borrower is delinquent, it takes different routes. If the borrower is in bankruptcy, previously in bankruptcy or contemplating bankruptcy, it takes a swift lurch into a rabbit hole. And if the borrower is cooperative or unrealistic or in a "protected" class, or whether they've tried a loan modification, all of those play a role. Or if there are two people on Title and only one of them can be located or only one will sell, you've wasted a great deal of energy and again fighting the clock.

Could I mentor a class on the subject? Yes, I could.

Will I mentor? No, I won't, not on this because It hurts my feelings when people yawn and fall asleep when I'm trying to explain this stuff to them. ;-) In fact it makes me yawn and fall asleep, too.