Buy smart at real estate auction

REThink Real Estate

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Q: I want to buy a house at auction. Do you have any advice?

A: In days of old, like before 2005, most real estate auctions were trustee sales that took place before a home was repossessed. We Realtors had a standard set of admonishments we used to make about those auctions: You might get a deal, but you have to pay in cash and in full; you’ll have no opportunity to have inspections; you may have to evict the former owners; and you could end up buying a place with a bunch of liens and other mortgages on it. These typical trustee sale characteristics barred all but the hardiest of cash-flush investors from participating.