New Feature: Online Bidding, Online Offers
There’s good news for RealtyTrac subscribers who want to buy bank-owned properties: RealtyTrac has introduced three new ways to buy thousands of these homes online. Subscribers now have the ability to make offers directly to the lender or agent, bid in online auctions or contact agents who handle government foreclosures.
When pursuing bank-owned properties in the past, prospective buyers typically were forced to make a string of phone calls and possibly even send letters trying to locate a lender representative who was authorized to accept offers for the property.
One subscriber in New York said she had stopped pursuing bank-owned properties awhile ago because she had so much difficulty getting a response from the banks.
“I tried to pursue two properties when the bank had it,” she said, noting that she has had more success contacting owners in default on pre-foreclosure properties. “The bank does not respond to you at all.” But now buyers like her can often skip the “contact-the-bank” step entirely.
“Because we want to help our users purchase foreclosure properties — not just locate them — it made a lot of sense for us to create more convenient ways for our members to contact the right person for a certain property and make an offer quickly and easily,” said Rick Sharga, vice president of marketing for RealtyTrac. “We’ve seen hundreds of subscribers make winning bids on REOs. We’ll continue to work with lenders and loan servicing companies to deliver more and more properties for our subscribers to bid on.”
Using the online bidding interface, Florida subscriber Jennifer Crowley purchased a home on the Gulf of Mexico for what she estimated to be about 50 percent below full market value.
“It was crazy. I had never done anything like that before,” she said, adding that she lived in the area and was able to go out and look at the property before she submitted her bids. “I bought this one for 140 (thousand) and it’s definitely worth 285 to 300.”
RealtyTrac users can find properties available for direct offers or bidding online in one of three places:
- Auction tab: these properties are bank owned, but the bank has chosen to auction them off rather than list them on the traditional resale market. Because the bidding is only open for a limited amount of time, these properties automatically appear at the top of the search results in the auction tab. A “Bid Now” button appears in the far right column of the search results for these properties. When clicked on, the button takes users to a bidding page where they can see time left for bidding, current bid, and more details about the property and how to bid on the property. Users can submit bids directly from the bidding page.
- Bank Owned tab: these properties have been repossessed by the lender and are now up for sale, usually through a local real estate agent. A “Make Offer” button appears in the far right column of the search results for these properties. When clicked on, the button will take users to an offer page, where they can enter their contact information, the amount they wish to offer, as well as other information relating to their offer. When the offer is submitted, it is sent directly to the agent listing the property for consideration. In other cases, the name of the listing agent will be listed in the Contact section of the property details page, and users can contact the agent via e-mail or phone to make an offer or find out more about the property.
- Government Owned tab: these properties have been foreclosed on and repossessed by a government-sponsored entity, which now is selling them through a local agent. The name of the agent will appear in the Contact section of the property details page, and users can contact the agent via e-mail or phone to make an offer or find out more about the property.