Clearwater Florida – The number one request we get from buyers is for Clearwater Florida Real Estate bargains for sale. They are looking for Tampa Bay condos or homes for sale that are bank owned properties, foreclosures, in pre-foreclosures or short sales. I must say that this is not a process for those who want quick answers or smooth rides. Be aware and be informed! By their very nature, Bank Owned, REO and Foreclosures and buying Clearwater Florida Real Estate in this process is filled with uncertainty and complexity. By understanding what to expect property buyers tell us it can be less stressful and frustrating.

I read 2 helpful blogs today on this topic highlighting how to be successful in buying Clearwater property bargains. These REALTORS are not from the Tampa Bay area however they present info local buyers can definitely benefit from…

Monika McGillicuddy wrote and excellent article about the possible Pitfalls of Buying a Bank Owned Property. She says “foreclosed home or short sale can be a fantastic opportunity to own a home at a greatly discounted price but please don’t go it alone. Representing yourself sometimes can be a costly mistake.”

She also shared how they “closed on a bank owned home recently, after some investigation we were able to track down a former owners property disclosure of the property and while it was from a former owner and held no legal weight it still gave us a glimpse at some information we would otherwise have never known.

Don’t expect the listing agent to do that for you. They won’t. Can you expect a buyer agent to try and track that information down? Yes… but realize that sometimes it’s simply not to be found. But a good buyer agent will make every effort to help the client make the right decisions.”

Maureen Francis, an Oakland real estate agent, also gives home buyers the following 5 tips to buying Foreclosures in her article. They are:

  1. Get Yourself a Buyer’s Agent
  2. Get Pre-Approved
  3. Do Your Due Diligence
  4. Banks might not respond as quickly as “normal” sellers
  5. Just because it is bank owned, that does not mean the bank is expecting to take another 50% off the price

I find that most buyers new to buying these bank owned properties are most unprepared for #4. When Jack and I first met 23 years ago I used to question things that I thought weren’t “fair”.

Whenever I was disappointed by something or someone and would complain that “it wasn’t fair” – he would smile and keep things light by reminding me that “life isn’t fair – that’s a place you take your pigs” 🙂 Now while I didn’t like that answer it’s important to realize that in bank owned sales the rules for playing are definitely stacked in the banks favor – so be sure an be prepared and don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t feel fair!

I still have to remind myself of this when things happen, like this week when we had a bank pull their bank owned Clearwater waterfront condo off the market AFTER receiving a full price offer from our cash buyer. WHAT????

That’s the normal buyers thoughts however, the bank decided the maybe the property could sell for more and decided to pull it off and then plans to re-list it for MORE money. Yep, I was thinking this doesn’t seem FAIR…and as you can imagine this is extremely frustrating to our buyer, but it is reality and they can do it. The good news is there are other great condos to purchase and they have found another to buy instead.

So yes, there are some great Clearwater Florida Real Estate bargains available but as Maureen so wisely points out – “don’t go it alone”. Choose a Tampa Bay REALTOR to be your buyers agent and advocate in this process.

If you want to find homes for sale or Clearwater Beach condos for sale – search the Tampa Bay MLS including bank owned, foreclosures, REO, short sales and more. Feel free to call Jack at (727) 710-8036 or Cyndee at (727) 710-8035 if you would like us to send you the latest Tampa Bay real estate bargains.

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  1. Pingback: Island Estates Florida Condos for Sale | Condo Bargains from under $170,000 - bring your boat too!
  2. I have written a few articles now about the short sale and foreclosure process. Potential buyers simply need to be aware that it is a long process and lots of potential frustration…but it is done for sure and can save a buyer some money.

  3. Good advice for anyone considering the purchase of a distressed Florida proeprty!

  4. Thank you for sharing these great real estate tips.

  5. Cyndee nice article on short sales and foreclosures. You certainly have provided some good references with Monika and Maureen 🙂

  6. What a learning curve this industry has had in the past 24 months.

  7. Faina Sechzer says:

    Cyndee, we in Princeton NJ are beginning to see more requests for information about short sale. You gave an excellent overview of what could be expected.

  8. Cyndee,
    Great post on the subject of buying foreclosed properties. You are absolutely correct about new buyers thinking that the banks are going to act quickly. That’s exactly why a good agent is needed.

  9. Charlotte agent buyer says:

    Its commonly assumed that any REO must be a bargain and an opportunity for easy money. This simply isnt true. You have to be very careful about buying a REO if your intent is to make money off of it.

  10. Experience Modification says:

    Great tips. I’ve been looking for a great resource on Florida homes.

  11. frank Civale says:

    Hello; Iwas looking to but a small farm. I’ll use my VA to purchase,so I could go up to 450,000. I don’t need something new, I would rather have an older home. A barn would be nice to have and some fruit trees would also be nice to have. If there’s a pond thats good to have. Thanks Frank

  12. Great site!!!Great post!!!I recommend it!!!


  13. There are indeed a number of pitfalls in short sales, but some are avoidable. A broker from Virginia blogged about his set of 11 great questions to ask the listing broker — I’ve narrowed his list down to the three biggies for screening purposes:

    1. Have ALL the lenders involved approved the short sale price? If not, why do you think they will?

    2. Are there any other offers on the property?

    3. Do you know how long the lender typically takes to respond to an offer?

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