Warnings and Tips for Buying Homes at Auction

Looking to buy a home? There are some great deals at auctions, but most experts warn individual buyers to stay away because of the risks. If you do decide to go to an auction, here are some things to know and some tips:

Be prepared to pay cash. Most states require payment in full at the time of the auction.

Do a title search.

Check for liens.

Are there any unpaid back taxes? You might be responsible for them if you buy.

You probably won't be able to inspect the property. People losing their homes aren't too likely to let you inside for a peek.

Be prepared to do renovations.

Did the homeowner file for bankruptcy hours before the auction?

Be prepared to face a lengthy eviction process if the old homeowner refuses to leave.

Consider instead auctions run by investors, banks and the government months after the original foreclosure.

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