Advantages and Disadvantages of Distressed Properties

Advantages and Disadvantages of Distressed Properties

Many of the homes for sale today - as many as half in some markets - fall under the category of "distressed properties."

These are homes that have either gone through foreclosure or are being marketed as "short sales." In a short sale, the homeowner can't afford to maintain the mortgage, but the lender - rather than foreclosing - agrees to the sale of the property for less than the balance of the loan.

These types of sales have different dynamics than traditional sales - with more paperwork, often a longer transaction process and, in some cases, more frustration. For these reasons, many buyers shy away from foreclosures or short sales.

However, if you understand the potential pitfalls of purchasing a distressed property - and work with an agent who has a thorough knowledge of this market - you can get a great home at a great price.

Is a distressed property investing for you? Here are pros and cons of buying one.
Advantages of Buying a Distressed Property
First, you'll be dealing with a highly motivated seller – either a bank in the case of a foreclosure, or in a short sale, sellers who are in financial trouble and very interested in getting out of a mortgage they can no longer afford.

These types of sales take much of the emotion out of the process. You won't be insulting anybody, for instance, if you make an offer that's lower than the asking price. (That's not to say that the low offer will necessarily be accepted, of course.)

Lenders are extremely interested in getting these homes sold and off the liability side of their balance sheets. Many foreclosed properties can be purchased for only a percentage of what they would have commanded five years ago.

If you're looking at a short sale, you're not likely to get quite as good a deal as on a foreclosure. But there are definite advantages to purchasing one of these homes. For one thing, since the homeowners want to get the home sold quickly, they are likely to keep it well-maintained and in good move-in condition.
Disadvantages of Purchasing a Distressed Property
If you're looking for a "steal," you're probably not going to find it. The market is heating up, with more and more buyers jumping into the market. If you're purchasing a home to live in, you'll often be competing not only against buyers similar to yourself, but against investors. More competition inevitably leads to higher prices.

The transaction process for short sales or foreclosures often takes longer than for traditional transactions. It's sometimes not clear which lending institution actually owns a mortgage loan, and it can take time to get it all sorted out – especially if there's a second mortgage involved, which is often the case.

Some foreclosed properties are also in rough condition. Many have sat idle for a long time with minimal or no maintenance. The departing owners may have sold off fixtures, or damaged the property. So in this case you will need to find help to determine the costs to repair.


If you would like the chance to work with me or one of my fellow real estate investor coaches and our advanced training programs, give us a call anytime to see if Dean's Real Estate Success Academy and our customized curriculum is a fit for you. Call us at 1-877-219-1474 ext. 125


You're so right there is competition out there especially other investors maybe or are in fact looking at same listings as you may be as they come on the market or those that have sat on the market for awhile.


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ewolff wrote:- and work with

ewolff wrote:
- and work with an agent who has a thorough knowledge of this market -

REA are getting far too much hype on this site. I understand the necassary evil of a realtor relationship but they are focused on closing deals, and leading clients by the nose that know less about the market than they do. A realtor will "file 13" your offer with a laugh because they already lined up a buyer they know or has moved inventory. If you are fully disclosing your intentions to flip, assign, or do anything but close on a property you will not be taken serious.
Do you think a property that hits the market with a 40% spread for flipping will be brokered at 6% and not leveraged for personal gain through loopholes?