When I first got in the real estate business in 1979 buying foreclosed property was something pretty well limited to speculators at the time. People like the broker I started with, and what I became a few years later, that bought property for cash, as-is generally to fix up and resell. Foreclosures, and how to buy them, were a mystery at the time, not only to the general public but to many in the real estate business as well. This is what gave us speculators an edge…we knew how to get the information on foreclosures and how the process worked. Ditto for tax sales and sheriff sales and short sales were something that didn’t even exist at the time.
Today, it’s all different however. Thanks largely to the internet and reality TV, it seems everyone knows about foreclosures, tax sales, and just about every other way of finding and buying distressed property. While this is good for sellers and for listing agents, it’s made it tough on investors and other buyers looking to take advantage of the opportunity offered through distressed sales. The result has been a highly competitive market and higher prices. This was evidenced by the sales data from last year. As the tables below show, most of the distressed homes sold during 2016 sold for a median of 100% of the current list price at the time of sale.
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