New to Foreclosure Purchases

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I'm interested in purchasing a foreclosure. I am completely new to this as everything I've bought in the past is off MLS. How do you purchase a foreclosure in the state of Georgia. Do you have to have 100% cash ready and go directly to the court houses? Also, are you able to bring some of your cash by taking out home equity lines or borrowed cash too? Another question: do you get to visit the properties and perform inspections prior to bidding or do you have to just buy sight unseen always??

A newbie to foreclosures that could use any advice for getting started in this process.

A good time to purchase a foreclosure is during the pre-foreclusure phase since the competition may be lower around this time and the purchase price you negotiate may also be lower than when it goes public. But if you wait for the court's public auction sale, you'll need 100% of the cash or you can use OPC (other people's cash) ahead of time. So if you can obtain a private lender's cash in an amount you will be making bids with ahead of time, go for it. But you may want to watch out for the liens on the house that may be more than what you intend to pay off. But if you want to play it safe, you can also try post-foreclosures on sites like auction.com. I've seen auctions on auction.com that doesn't require all cash up front and the liens are supposed to be cleared around this time. But I've heard about shortcomings of that site like if you are the winning bidder and the amount doesn't meet the price the bank is looking for, they won't sell it to you.

 Before the auction date (first Tuesday of the month), I've seen lenders advertise to see the home, so you may be able to inspect the property during this time. The best thing I would recommend is to view these auctions in person to get a feel for how things work.

Thanks Alton! Do the banks that take possession put them up for sale during the pre-foreclosure period and then if they don't sell ..they go to auction? Also, what's the best way to search for liens on a home?

rule #1 research research research, every property you consider biding on! watch out for additional leans and verify taxes are current.

#2.  Dont get emotionally attached to any property. know your max number and dont go over even 100 bucks.  Currently there are a few companies who are over paying for properties at auctions around Georgia. Dont get caught up in a bidding war. if it makes sense at your numbers stick to it.

3. You typically buy these without seeing them inside. plan and budget for the worst case senerio.

4. the process can take much longer then you expect to close. I purchased one on 4/24/18 and they couldnt close it until 6/22/18 so almost 2 months after the auction. Lender sold it to me before forecloser docs were completed/filed extending escrow.

5. get title insurance!!

Originally posted by @Vivian McEntyre :

Thanks Alton! Do the banks that take possession put them up for sale during the pre-foreclosure period and then if they don't sell ..they go to auction? Also, what's the best way to search for liens on a home?

 You're welcome! As for your questions, the bank doesn't take possession, but sends out a default notice threatening  repossession/foreclosure. During this period, the home owner can try to find a buyer. But if the foreclosure takes place, the auction comes afterwards. 

The best way to search for liens is through a title company or you can try one of those paid title search services online. Another way is to try the county's tax assessor website or go to the local superior court.