It would appear that repossesions are a good way to get a property under current market value, however how would you find out about them ?
Is this information available to all of us ?
Is the purchase any different because it's a repo ie are lenders a bit more wary ?
If it property is being reposessed the seller (mortgage company) also considers the speed of sale - if they "could" get a higher price with another buyer they will also consider how quickly the sale could go through.
Therefore some latitude is given to agents in what offer is accepted (eg an agent can say that buyer "x" is well known to them and can proceed quickly. Buyer "b" offered 10k more but is an unknown quantity.
These days repo's don't really go much cheaper we had one only 3 months ago and it went well over asking price. If you were to ask an agent to give you a call when one is available its very rare they would but some might. Just keep your eyes and ears open and look carefully as the 7 day notices tend to blend in with everything else in the paper so people miss them.
I worked for a well known estate agent for a few years and this is what we did with a repo.
1st clue there will be a notice in the wndow of the property along the lines of - all goods to be removed by a certain date but a bit more professional that that.
2nd clue when people asked us why the vendor was selling we would say that the property is no longer in their hands as we were not allowed to tell them it was a repo even though the sign in the window gave it away.
3rd most repo's will go on a 7 day notice in the paper stating the agreed selling price however the repo company would accept higher bids untill the date of exchange because they want to get as much money for the property as possible.
Unlike the early 90's when lenders got a bad name by selling off repo's more cheaply than the original occupier could have done and thus saddling same with an unnecessarily high ongoing debt burden, lenders are now required to demonstrate that they have made every reasonable effort to dispose of the repossessed property for as near market price as possible. They tend to do this in two ways: Firstly the market value of a property can be established by putting it through an auction, secondly they engage an agent to dispose of the property by means of sealed bids. On the day that bits are stated to have been received, the bid envelopes are opened and the property offered to the highest bidder.
Lenders are required to get the best price that they can for a reposession so as not to saddle their former borrower with any more additional debt than they have to.
Accordingly, repos are disposed of at a property auction or by an established estate agent by the means of sealed bids. In these, the property is advertised and interested purchasers put their offers in writing in sealed envelopes. On the appropriate day, these offers are opened and the highest one gets the property.