Foreclosures are common place in today’s real estate market. Just look at the Columbus MLS and you will see that out of the 14,766 Columbus OH homes for sale a full 10% (1,476) are listed as foreclosures. Foreclosures range from $1 million properties in Dublin to $5,000 houses on the Hilltop.

Do a simple MLS map search to verify these numbers.

What are “foreclosure” homes? There are really 4 types of Columbus OH homes for sale we consider foreclosures:

  • Bank owned (REO) properties
  • VA owned properties
  • HUD Homes – Columbus houses owned by the Dept of Housing and Urban Development
  • Shortsales – homes that are facing foreclosure, where the owner tries to sell for less than is owed to the bank

Although foreclosure homes can be great deals, you have to be careful before you make an offer. I strongly recommend you work with a Columbus real estate agent who is experienced dealing with these types of Columbus houses.

There’s one main reason why buyers consider purchasing a foreclosure home – price. Yes, foreclosures are typically less expensive than regular listings, however, they are sold as-is and there are no warranties. Once your offer gets accepted, you can’t go back to the seller and ask for remedies. You either purchase the home or get out of the contract.

You absolutely should do an inspection before you buy. These inspections can include the following: home, termite, mold, structural, radon gas, well & septic. If the inspections are not satisfactory, you can get out of the contract most of the time, and even get your earnest money deposit back. A Columbus real estate agentwho deals with REOs, HUD homes and short sales on a regular basis will be invaluable handling these tough negotiations for you.

Out of the 4 types of foreclosure homes, I strongly recommend that you consider HUD homes. They are much easier and quicker to close than bank owned or short sale listings, and you may get extra incentives as an owner occupant. Go to the Columbus HUD homes blog to learn everything you need to know about buying HUD houses.

Bank owned and VA owned homes are oftentimes in worse condition than HUD homes. You also have to be aware of the fact that the majority of REO properties are listed shortly after the Sheriff’s Sale, however, in Franklin County, the deed to the property may not be recorded for 5 to 6 months after the sale! What this means for you as the buyer is that you cannot predict a closing date. It may have to wait for half year after making an offer that you finally close the purchase.

Short sales are even worse. Banks are so overextended with pending foreclosures that it’s really difficult to get an answer on an offer. I personally have completed more than 200 short sales, however, I try to avoid them today. It just takes too long to get a response, and many Columbus real estate agents listing these homes are not experienced enough in dealing with the lenders. As a buyer you have no influence on if or when your offer will get accepted and when you may be able to close.

Call me, if you are considering a foreclosure property, and I will guide you along the treacherous path of purchasing it. Experience matters greatly. As a professional Columbus real estate agent I will make sure you find the home of your dreams, but I will also be straight with you and advise you when it’s time to move on and make an offer on another Columbus home.

Thanks for reading the Blog!

Posted by: Susanne Novak, ABR, FIS, GRI
Columbus Real Estate Agent helping First Time Buyers.
(614) 975-9650