For some reason, people believe that a buyer’s agent is unnecessary when looking to purchase a foreclosed home. Perhaps this is because people feel that these types of transactions are so fundamentally different from a standard purchase, that an agent wouldn’t help. This is patently false.
In a foreclosure sale, the bank is the seller because they are the legal owner of the property; they have seized ownership of the home because the previous owner could not make payments, and are attempting to recoup their losses. This changes the negotiation positions significantly, as a bank’s goal is different than an individual’s. A good agent can still help in this situation.
As an initial matter, an agent will always be more familiar with real estate transactions than a lay person. As we have said on numerous occasions, whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most. An agent is in the best position to be prepared. Sending someone to the negotiation table who has a background in negotiating real estate transactions will give you a leg up every time.
A major bargaining chip in any real estate negotiation is knowing what is wrong with the property itself; it impacts the value in a major way. Established agents have been involved in hundreds, if not thousands of home inspections. Conversely, in the foreclosure scenario, the bank is generally ill-informed about the state of the property. Leveraging information obtained from an inspection will significantly help a buyer, and an agent is in the best position to maximize that benefit.
Finally, an agent’s familiarity with the market represents another bargaining chip at the negotiation table. An agent who has worked in an area for years on end will always be more informed than a bank, which is generally not involved in the real estate business. Thus, it is absolutely in your best interest to utilize the services of an agent when purchasing a foreclosed home.
At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, and knowledge of how to maximize your strengths in negotiation is powerful knowledge indeed. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.