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First, of course, you should find a Realtor that is experienced and knowledgeable in buying and selling general real estate IN ADDITION to being experienced in REO's. I would highly suggest an agent that has worked both sides of these transactions...buying from banks and selling for banks. There are not many of these agents out there and always be sure to make sure they can back up what they say!! What banks have they listed and sold properties for, how many transactions do they PERSONALLY conduct per year, etc. Some agents will give you their companies numbers...not their own!! The reason it is important to have an agent that knows both sides of these transaction is so that they can help you structure a great offer and make you aware of some of the red flags or potential pitfalls. Many, many banks have their own addendums and contracts...and as you would imagine they are very protective of the seller and not so much for the buyer. Another note to be aware of is that if you are looking for some inexpensive properties there are some agents that will not be interested in getting involved in these because the hourly pay at the end of the day is very low due to the commissions being a percentage of the purchase price. NOTE: Since this is my blog I don't mind putting in a little advertisement for my team. We have 5 full time agents and we will do everything we can to treat a $20k buyer the same as a million dollar buyer. We have had clients use us for a $10k purchase and it spawned about 4 other contracts that were much higher...sooo we NEVER turn down a serious buyer!!
Give your agent some details about what you are looking for. Everyone is looking for a "good" deal sooo we need a little more meat than that. If you tell us what would be ideal for you we will narrow the search down a bit. Yes, we will still call you when we see a "great" deal that may be appealing to you. Depending on whether you are looking for a primary or investment some of the details would be: location, size, type of construction, handy man or not, 1 or 2 story, price range or monthly payment range, beds, baths, newly renovated or '70's throwback, school district, and on and on and on and on.
Be ready to submit an offer in a moment’s notice!!! It shouldn't surprise you that some of the best deals go VERY quick still. There is not much urgency needed in a house that has been on the market for a year but a new listing that is priced really well or an old listing that just made a huge price adjustment need to be jumped on or else someone else will snatch it up.
If you are buying as an investment, have your agent help you pull rents in the area or resale values. This stuff will all be the norm for an experienced agent so be sure you find the right one!!
I could keep going but my fingers are tired and I have people to help!!
See ya soon...Thanks...Jeremy Wilson, Owner/Realtor www.ChuckTownHomes.com