Foreclosures: worth the risk?
Bill Hubbard - Dec 05 - Columnists


The world according to Bill

Foreclosures and court-ordered sales attract prospective buyers because they appear to be great deals. However, they can also come with a great deal of risk.

In most real estate contracts, there is a clause that says the seller promises the property will be in essentially the same condition when it changes hands as when it was first viewed by the buyer.

But in foreclosure sales this doesn’t apply, and the seller warrants virtually nothing.

Foreclosures are usually sold with the phrase “as is where is” in the agreement. What this means is you get what you get.

In other words, when you take possession of the property it may be very different than when you viewed the property.

The seller, usually a bank or insurance company, does not guarantee anything. They don’t guarantee that the roof does not leak, that the place won’t be destroyed by the previous owner or that the appliances, light fixtures, door knobs, doors etc. will still be there.  

If something goes wrong you are on your own.

The idea behind a foreclosure is that you get the house for a cheaper price to compensate for this risk. However, the reality is that if there are multiple offers in court, the property often sells for as much or more than its market value, and there is no savings.

This is just one of the many reasons why using a professional realtor is a smart move.

Bill Hubbard is a real estate broker and the owner and broker of a four-office real estate firm in the Okanagan-Shuswap. He has been in real estate for 28 years and has been an owner and broker in Vernon for 20 years. At almost 60 years old he is just as passionate about real estate as the day he started.

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