Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What I learned Attending a Foreclosure Auction

J and I have casually been considering buying a home for quite a few months now. We compiled a list of things we needed, wanted, and didn't care about for our future house back in March. One day while enjoying the lovely spring weather, we discovered a house that was undergoing the foreclosure process.

Don't you just love it?

I have been stalking the court case progress and, in the process, learned quite a bit about foreclosures and foreclosure auctions in Florida. There are plenty of wonderful online resources on these topics, but there are also things I didn't figure out until attending the foreclosure auction for this house.

  1. Attend an auction before the one you are interested in. This gives you an opportunity to see how the process works in your district, as everywhere is different. I wish I had thought to do this before our auction.
  2. Pay attention to what the other attendees are chatting about. There were only three other people at the auction and they knew each other very well. Come to find out, these people regularly attend auctions to bid on behalf of banks and other entities and people. You can learn a lot from just paying attention.
  3. Ask if the person representing the bank of your favorite property can disclose the maximum bid. The representative will probably have to make a phone call to ask permission, so make sure to do this step with plenty of time before the auction starts. If the max bid is higher than you wish to pay, then there is no need to run up the price during the auction. And if the max bid is within your range, all you need to do is make your first bid that max value plus whatever the incremental bid number is. In our case, each bid had to increase by at least $100. Things are ever so much more efficient when you have more info, so don't be afraid to ask!

I would also like to mention that the house I have been stalking is empty (if you couldn't tell by the foliage taking over the front yard). The property was owned by a deceased person's estate, so nobody was losing their home. And I did not buy the house, in case anyone was wondering, but I will keep y'all updated!