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How do you bid on a foreclosure auction?

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Quick Answer

Bid on a foreclosure auction by first locating a property and then researching it, reports the Washington Post. Before the bidding begins, you must have a loan preapproval or certified check ready for the amount of their minimum bid. If the bidding starts at an amount over what the home is worth, and the lender retains the home, you can approach the lender after the auction and make a post-auction bid.

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The law stipulates that sellers must advertise foreclosure auctions in general circulation newspapers with a description of the property, the terms of the sale, and the time and place of the auction, explains the Washington Post. As the buyer, you must take the property as it is and has no right to inspect it before the auction. You can search public records to find out who the homeowner is, when he bought the home, how much he paid for it, and the amount of any tax liens or property arrearages. Also, search real estate databases for additional information, and inspect the site visually, at least from beyond the property lines.

Purchasing foreclosed properties at auction is full of risks, warns Bankrate. You are liable for IRS tax liens, loans, back interest and attorney's fees. If the previous owner still lives on the foreclosed property, he may file bankruptcy and continue to live there during court proceedings.

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