Buying Clearwater Florida Real Estate Bargains: Bank Owned, REO, Foreclosures – Be Aware, Be Informed!

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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