KISS a Real Estate Agent

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentSimple question posted today on Trulia Voices: How does someone buy bank owned properties in Surprise, Goodyear and Peoria. Not so simple answers were the order of the day.

Our buyer was told Arizona has more foreclosures than anywhere else. Wrong.

Our buyer was told to check for Notices of Trustee Sale. Wrong. Those are sent at the start of the foreclosure process (not technically foreclosure in Arizona but that’s a longer explanation) and won’t lead you to bank-owned properties.

Our buyer was told to be prepared for extremely long wait times. Wrong. That applies to a short sale, where the bank’s debating whether to accept less for the home than the current mortgage(s) on the property.

In the effort to prove their value, many agents make this whole process far more difficult than it really is. Buying and selling real estate is complicated enough without muddying the waters.

So how do you buy a bank-owned property?

  1. Search the MLS for lender-owned homes.
  2. Expect the worst in terms of property condition.
  3. Make an offer. (And don’t assume the bank will accept any price to get the home off of their books.)
  4. Wait a week or so for a response and expect to see multiple addenda.
  5. Get a property inspection and decide whether to close (assuming your original offer contains an inspection period – these are set in the contract, not by statute.)

That’s about it. Using a real estate professional can help and is advisable unless you’re sure of what you’re doing. Happens every day. And it always works out in the end …

Well, except for when it doesn’t. But that’s another story.

[tags]short sales, Phoenix real estate, bank-owned homes[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Sandi Bauman 10 years ago

    You’ve made some really important points, and addressed several issues buyers are often unaware of. My favorite? “… be prepared for extremely long wait times.” I have to agree, that buyer was misinformed. My experience has been that the bank typically wants to close NOW! Although their initial time frame for approval may take a few days, once they decide they are going to take the offer, most banks will move swiftly to get the deal done.

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    They’re as serious about closing on an REO as they are indifferent on a short sale, Sandi. I completely agree.