Buying a Home in Central Florida: Tips for Navigating Distressed Properties

If you're in the market for a new home in Central Florida, you may notice that many properties are classified as "distressed." These homes are either in foreclosure or listed as "short sales." While these properties can offer significant value, they come with unique considerations. Here's what you need to know.

Foreclosure Properties

When a property is in foreclosure, the bank will accept multiple offers, creating competition among potential buyers. It may take some time to hear back from the bank after submitting your offer, as they often wait until an "offer period" ends before responding. This can be frustrating if you're eager to move quickly on another property. Collaborate with your realtor to determine a competitive offer and get an understanding of the bank's response timeline.

Short Sales

In a short sale, the bank agrees to accept less than the outstanding mortgage balance. The listed price is the amount the bank is willing to take, and they may not be open to further negotiation. Your realtor can advise you on making a fair offer under these conditions.

Choosing the Right Property

Focus on more than just the price. Ensure the home suits your needs and is in a desirable neighborhood. Even if you're planning to flip the property or use it as a rental, research thoroughly to ensure its resale or rental potential.

"As Is" Sales

Foreclosed properties are often sold "as is." However, it's crucial to have the home inspected and request necessary repairs from the bank. In many cases, banks are willing to make repairs to facilitate the sale.

Loan Pre-Approval

Securing a loan pre-approval before making an offer can strengthen your position. Banks are more likely to consider your offer favorably if you're pre-approved, and in some cases, pre-approval is required for foreclosure properties.


Real estate auctions can be an excellent opportunity to find great deals. If you're new to auctions, be sure to tour the property beforehand and have your financing pre-approved if you're not paying in cash.

Foreclosures and short sales can be a smart way to find a bargain, provided you understand the process. Working with a knowledgeable Florida real estate professional experienced in distressed properties is your best bet for securing a home you'll love at a great price.

Posted by Jen Dollar on
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