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Pre-Foreclosure (short sale): There are some fantastic opportunities to purchase properties under market value prior to them going into foreclosure. A home owner that is headed into foreclosure may decide to sell the property prior to the bank or government forcing the issue. If they owe more than the property is worth, they might qualify to do a short sale, in which they will negotiate with their mortgage lender to convince the lender to let them off the hook without paying off the whole balance of their loan. In this case it might take 3 months or longer for the lender to approve the sale once a buyer submits their offer. Therefore, short sales may not be suitable for buyers who have a strict timeline for purchasing and moving into a new home.
Auction: The next stage of a foreclosure is an auction. The bank does not own the property but it is forcing the property to be sold so that it can recoup some of the money that they are owed. There are some additional challenges to buying real estate this way.
The first is that here in the Chicago land area they require 25% of the total purchase price at the auction followed by the rest within 72 hours (or something close to this). So really you need cash to buy these homes.
The second issue is that the buyer is responsible for all liens (past taxes, mechanics liens, code violations, etc) associated with the property whether they are disclosed or not. Additionally and more importantly, if the property is occupied then the responsibility to evict lies with the new owner. Because of the way the laws are written, this process can take a year or longer in cases when the squatter knows how to plays the eviction game in court to his or her advantage.
Foreclosure (bank owned, REO): If the property does not sell at auction then the bank takes possession. They evict anyone living in the property. They clean up outstanding liens and they put the home on the market looking to sell it quickly (30-45 days). The bank does not want to be a landlord. They want to unload the home so they price it to sell. Of the 3 stages, this is probably the easiest one for the average buyer to complete a purchase.
The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity program of Midwest Real Estate Data LLC. Real Estate listings held by brokerage firms other than our company are marked with the MRED Broker Reciprocity logo or the Broker Reciprocity thumbnail logo (the MRED logo) and detailed information about them includes the names of the listing brokers. Some properties which appear for sale on this website may subsequently have sold and may no longer be available. The accuracy of all information, regardless of source, including but not limited to square footages and lot sizes, is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be personally verified through personal inspection by and/or with the appropriate professionals. The information being provided is for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.
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