Write it down and stick to your maximum bid, not a penny more. you'll want to find out what similar nearby properties have sold for recently, determine what it might sell for, and calculate necessary improvements based on worst-case scenarios since you will be unable to have it properly inspected beforehand. You'll also want to check the local classifieds (under both "real estate" and "auctions") and check Zillow's foreclosure listings, as well as contact auctioneers directly. Wouldn’t it be quicker to just say the Foreclosure Radar is only available in 5 west coast states? If this sounds like you, let me give you an honest introduction to buying houses at auction. Hard money lenders base their lending decision on the investment property, and not your assets or credit score. Every state has slightly different laws about buying houses at auction. But property auctions are traditionally the domain of landlords and investors looking for cheap houses and flats that they can turn around quickly and rent or sell for profit. NEVER, EVER buy a lien in second position, or any lien that isn’t first position for that matter, unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Expect financing to take a very long time. Once you've found the house(s) you want to bid on, do a full title search (or have your lawyer do one) to turn up any outstanding debts, unpaid taxes, or other liens. Most auctions don’t last very long, so being 15 minutes late could mean missing the whole thing entirely. Depending on the state, an auction may require a cashier's check for at least $5,000 made out to the auction house to prove you're serious. Not available in all 50 states? Order a preliminary title report from a title company. Notice of Trustee Sales or Sheriffs sales are published in a local newspaper weekly for a few weeks before they are sold at auction. Many of the online tracking systems have tools for estimating ARV (after repair value), but a more accurate way would be to pull recent comparables and calculate the cost of estimated repairs yourself. There could be unpaid tax bills or other outstanding debts that you'd be on the hook for should your bid win out. But just looking in the newspaper won’t give you the up-to-date information you really need. Some investors don’t care much about a foreclosed house’s interior appearance, but if you plan on living in it for a while or even fixing and flipping, the inside should concern you at least somewhat. It’s easy to get carried away with the emotion of bidding wars, but being willing to let a property go is your safety net. If you’re wondering if you can save money by buying a foreclosed home to LIVE IN and you DO NOT have a lump sum of cash (from savings or an inheritance, perhaps), auctions aren’t the way to go. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. Before you make any big moves, you'll want to attend a couple local real estate auctions to get a feel for the action. Get a FREE Auction Valuation Selling at Auction Benefits Of Selling Property At Auction. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Keep an eye on how the auctioneer runs things, how he calls for bids, and how potential buyers indicate their continued bidding. This means they have major major major issues like termites, wood rot, water against the foundation, rotten seals, bad roof, etc the list goes on. You’d hate to buy a home at “50% off” just to find out that it needs a new roof, the floors are about to cave in, and there’s water or termite damage in the walls! Opinions are the author's alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser. Pick out one week and go to the auction every morning. If they approve the application, you will get your cash in time for the auction.